By Som Niroula, MA in Peace Education (2007), University for Peace
The devastating earthquake measuring 7.9 on the Richter Scale which struck Nepal at 11.56 am on April 25, 2015, has already recorded 7056 lives and displaced thousands. These figures are rough estimates provided by government but given that rescue teams have yet to reach remote areas, the numbers are expected to rise. The roads connecting the remote villages have been damaged in the quake and the ensuing inaccessibility has been the primary hurdle for delivery of relief goods and services.
Survivors in the villages are struggling for shelter, food, medicine and water. They have lost their family members, homes, livestock and their stock of rice, maize and other grains. Their lives and the clothes they are wearing are the only possession they have left. Due to the damages sustained by electricity infrastructure, communication has been hindered. The people are desperately trying to power their cell-phones to contact relatives and friends. Urgent relief and support is needed for these villages and survivors in them.
The table below gives an overview of the loss of lives and properties. The government is updating the figures regularly.
The government has declared that 12 districts are most heavily affected. These districts, most of which lie in the hilly and mountainous region, are difficult to reach. Current rescuer operations and relief actions have been concentrated in the cities and the headquarters of districts. We hope that the national and international rescue and aid mission operating and arriving will mobilize their resources in these remote areas.
It has been estimated that about 90 per cent of houses have been destroyed in the hill districts. The schools and health centers have also been destroyed and damaged.
The government has introduced an 'one door policy' for the distribution of the relief materials. Under this policy, all relief aid and support materials are channeled through the government. The government also has not recognized the role of civil society organizations in the relief operation. There is a large number of Non-Governmental Organizations working in the quake affected districts. However, the one door policy has delayed and created complications in the immediate relief distribution. There are no elected representatives in the local level to facilitate the distribution of relief materials. There has been little work and cooperation from the government in generation, compilation and distribution of information related to the the disaster.
In this condition, Nepal Institute of Peace (NIP), a non-governmental organization, has adopted multiple strategies as a response to the disaster. Our planned strategies include providing immediate support to the people who are in need of immediate help, monitoring the relief package, raising the concern of accountability of government, international governments and national and international non-governmental in provide the effective and immediate services to the people at the community level.
NIP will not concentrate its efforts on delivery of relief materials and services. However, we are prepared to provide immediate help for people in critical situation.
How you can support our initiative?
- Providing monetary and/or material support.
- Providing knowledge and resources for effective policy development
- Phase I: Brisk Response
○ Immediate relief for the needy people (expected about 200)
○ Monitor the distribution and deliver of relief packages and services to ensure accountability of all stakeholders (government and non-government institutions)
- Phase II: Post disaster action
○ Mobilize volunteer to assess the situation in the affected district
○ Seek support for building safe and low cost housing for the needy people
Where you can send your support?
Name of the A/c: Nepal Institute of Peace (NIP)
Account number: 0201017503486 (Current Account)
Name of the Bank: Nepal Arab Bank Limited / (NABIL Bank- Limited)
Address of Bank: Pulchock Branch, Kupondol
P. O. Box: 3729
S.W.I.F.T Code: NARB NP KA
Contact person: Sujit Saksena and Ajit Acharya (Tel: 00977 9841686366 and 00977 9851153242)
Nepal Institute of Peace (NIP) is a nongovernmental, non-profit, non-partisan organization managed by young and energetic professionals who have sound academic and professional experiences in human rights and peace issues. Our experiences cover a broad range of issues including Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) issues, conflict management, advocacy, human rights protection and promotion, education, health, research, social development and policy analysis. The composition of the executive committee is inclusive with the representation of women, dalit, madhesi, janajati and diverse socio-cultural groups.
NIP was registered in 2002 at the District Administrative Office, Lalitpur and has been affiliated with Social Welfare Council since. It focuses on sensitizing, capacity building and participation in national development process without hatred and conflict. Its major working areas are issues of IDPs, human rights and peace and it believes that only participatory, inclusive and sustainable peace brings social harmony in the society. NIP has worked extensively on internal displacement due to internal armed conflict and natural disaster.
Som Niroula holds Master of Arts in Peace Education from United Nations Mandated University for Peace (UPEACE), Costa Rica in 2007. He also holds a Masters Degree of Arts in Anthropology from Tribhuvan University, Nepal in 2002. Currently Som has been working in the field of human rights and peace education for the last eight years. From the beginning of his work on human rights, he has been continuously contributing in human rights movement of Nepal to institutionalize the norms and values of democracy and rule of law. He designs courses on human rights and peace education for human rights activists and peace educators who are working in the community level. He also provides strategic support to human right organizations in Nepal. He has a good networking with human right defenders in Nepal from national to grass root level to advocate for peace and justice. In addition, he has published articles on IDPs, refugees and impunity and violence.
 Siddhupalchowk, Gorkha, Nuwakot, Rasuwa, Dhading, Lalitpur, Kavreplanchowk, Dolakha, Ramechap, Sindhuli, Bhaktapur, Kathmandu.