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5 JUNE 2015 – BACK FROM PHAPLU (SOLUKHUMBU)
Until then, the patients were sleeping under tarpaulins. This time, again with the help of UNICEF who supplied two more tents, we were able to put all the technical facilities in tents (dentistry, laboratory, radiology, …). The maternity room and the operating theatre were able to be set up in the only building (of recent construction) that was entirely secure. This situation such as I have described will last for as long as it takes to reconstruct a new hospital.
UNICEF has also provided many family kits and medicines to provide for the needs of the different ‘health posts’ of Solukhumbu for the duration of the monsoon. We looked after transport of the material by lorry to Phaplu, the setting up of the tents and the distribution of the kits to the 34 ‘health posts’. The government, overloaded with work, would not have been able to send anything before the beginning of the monsoon forecast for next week.
On return from Phaplu, the last mission we set ourselves, it is time to sum up the situation in Nepal. Even if it is no longer mentioned in the local or international press, there are tremors nearly every day. The website www.seismonepal.gov.np gives, practically in real time, every tremor above 4 on the Richter scale (more than 300 tremors since 25 April). Practically all the houses in Gorkha, Sindulpalchok, and Dolakha have been destroyed or made uninhabitable due to a major risk of collapse. More than 16000 inhabitants of Sindulpalchok and Dolakha have left their villages. A “refugee” camp has been set up in Bodhe in the outskirts of Bakthapur. These people, having lost everything are entirely dependent on international aid. The schools have started again; the school year began a month late. Certain schools have taken on psychologists to talk to the children about the earthquake…
The Nepalese government have declared in the press that 50 villages, wholly or partly destroyed, will have to be rebuilt elsewhere, for their present location is at high risk (landslides, avalanches,..). Who will give these villagers a plot of land to build on and new fields to cultivate? How to check that corruption is not affecting the aid given by international organisations and donor countries? Such corruption exists as much in the heart of government as in intermediaries.
The government estimates that 10 billion dollars of aid will be needed for Nepal’s reconstruction, the annual budget of Nepal being 6.2 million dollars…