Nepal Earthquake where to get information?

The biggest issue when a Natural Disaster occurs is there is panic and people stop communicating with each other or false rumours appear from nowhere and there is a breakdown in the efficiency.

A Nepalese company, Sparrowsms has created a site for people to share information on what is happening on the ground. It has sections such as what aid is needed, what help is being offered with a location flag layered on top of google maps for people to see what is happening/reported in the specific region. From my knowledge a few of the organisations are using this tool to make sure issues are communicated so things move more efficiently.
The improvement we see which could be made to the tool is that there isn’t a section for organisation. This means it is difficult to link reports on which organisation is providing what aid at a specific time and to search for what a particular organisation has done/is currently working on.
http://help.sparrowsms.com/

If this information is outdated or there are other tools which organisations are using please contact us.

NB If you are a reader and not volunteering, we would appreciate it if you do not keep pinging the site as you will be taking the bandwidth of the site, and slowing the progress of recovery. We have enclosed a screenshot of the site for the readers, Thank you 🙂

Sparrowsms

From what we know:

Lokesh and Aditya Todi are fund raising on Indiegogo. Lokesh a MBA grad from Yale is on the ground in Nepal, Aditya his brother a Stanford Grad is in Boston helping, they are covered in a CNN Article.

Representing the surfing community Waves for Water are taking “400 clean-­water filtration systems to Nepal which can provide up to 40,000 quake victims with access to clean water, almost immediately”.

We are currently in contact with Natalia from Iam Adventures Blog introduced by a mutual friend. She been on the ground has good contacts with who is looking for help.

Reliefweb which is the largest humanitarian information portal in the world has lots of information in regards to what is currently happening in Nepal. The link we have put in has the Urban Research and Rescue (USAR) snapshot on 29th April 2015.

Isra Aid director was helping out in Gangabu, and now Sindupalchowk.

There have been reports some aid has been forced back from areas such as Sindhupalchowk because people do not have permissions to help in the area (from the Ministry of Home Affair). If this is true there has been a break down in communication and there is room for improvement in efficiency.

One thing we are very worried about is the approach of the Monsoon season (June – August) and the landslides it could cause.

What GDP doesnt tell us.. UK Housing Crisis? RBS :(

New Economics has written an article about What GDP does not tell us. It talks about the further unbalancing in the economy. How households are returning back into debt and how the economy is back in pre 2008 path. 12.3% of the GDP figure was household rent and “imputed rent” greater than any other G7 countries. If people are feeling at unease with the economy this might be because the indicator to a good economy, the GDP, is like the Black-Scholes model, and simply the wrong indicator to use to measure the economy.

There is an article in the Huffington Post about politicians not understanding the housing crisis, and the need to stop rolling out hundreds of “piecemeal schemes” that prop up a broken system. The panelists who discussed about the housing crisis had Richard Lambert, CEO National Landlords Association and David Orr, CEO of the National Housing Federation in the round table. The were further comments in the article made by David Lammy, London Mayor Candidate. It was a really interesting read and we were so intrigued we sent email/messages to the three people mentioned in the article in regards to spare room tenancy. If they are happy with having the comments on the this blog we will put it up but we are really interested in the opinion.

Lastly, can things ever go right at RBS? Bloomberg reported a 1st quarter loss worse than the expectations made by analysts. This is one bank which the UK government really made a mistake with. I really feel for the employees at the bank and hope they are better things to come for them in the future.

Making connections, Hub Westminster, London Coffee Festival

Today I was introduced to Natalia from Iam Adventures Blog, it was really good getting her information and knowledge. Hopefully I can help her out in the near future.

Went to meet up a friend in Hub Westminster for lunch. First time in the space, it was clean, less busy and relaxed compared to Google Campus. It was interesting listening to what my friend was doing. If anyone has information on homeless in County Durham please ping me 🙂

This was followed by London Coffee Festival in Shoreditch, helping out a friend from Trezoro a Royalty App. It was interesting seeing the coffee business owners being mainly Australian/New Zealand. An amazing experience being able to taste the different coffee and see the variety of coffees available. There were juice makers at the event as well, and it was very interesting to find some of the juice makers had coffee shops and grocers as side businesses. Quite a few business I talked to were interestingly from the Notting Hill area.

Overall a busy day, with unfortunately minimal progress on the property site.

 

Nepal Lifeline? Water, Fundraising for Nepal

News for Today:

After Quake, Nepal faces Water and Health Crisis reports Newsweek.
Water is one of the most important thing needed to survive for life. The water source in Kathmandu has not been damaged but the infrastructure/pipping to carry the supply has been damaged. This has led the locals to rely on tankers of water led by the army and most likely brought in from their neighbours in India.

Insight from a Nepalese friend:
Some lucky houses in Kathmandu have wells and with the use of machinery water can be pulled up from the well to a water tank. This water is used in the bathrooms. The water from the wells are usually a bit yellowish and are not used for drinking or cooking.

The water which the government provides through the pipping and taps is collected in a different tank, this is usually boiled and filtered prior to drinking or cooking purposes.

Making sure water is supplied to the survivors should be the highest priority and we hope aid agencies are looking for alternatives to making sure water can be supplied from the water source.

Overseas Aid:

Japan has decided to provide 800 mio USD in emergency fund to Nepal as written by the Embassy of Nepal in the UK.

Fundraising by Companies:

Markit in Singapore are setting up a fund for donations to Nepal.

BNP Paribas worldwide are raising funds via the Rescue and Recover fund which will match every employee’s contribution.

Helping Nepal Embassy in the UK:

Update as of 30th April:
They weren’t the best to talk to in letting us know what they needed in terms of volunteers and organising fundraisers. They did take our number and told us they could call back if they needed volunteers. Will wait and see on wether they call back or not.

29th April
In the morning we called the Nepal Embassy in the UK Disaster Relief inquiry/donation helpline on 020 7043 7497 and asked them if there were any fundraisers in the pipeline to raise donations. We were told at this present moment in time they were not organising one.
Asked them about volunteers and they sounded like they were looking for more volunteers to help the team out during the week.
We will be calling them tomorrow to confirm: 1) in regards to organising a fundraiser and 2) the volunteering opportunity in the Disaster Relief team/ Embassy. If any of the readers are interested please call them direct to get more information.
On the other hand we will try and do our best to update the information after speaking to them tomorrow.

PS If anyone has spare stationary which are in decent condition, the person in the Disaster Relief team sounded like they needed supplies. After confirming with them on the 020 number, please could you send them over to the Embassy. Thank you

Whats happening with UK Immigration? UK property bubble?

UK News:

Welcome to Britain thanks for the hard work now get lost reports Bloomberg. This was an interesting article of a mixed Japanese/Australian family giving up hopes on the immigration system in the UK and deciding to go back to Japan. Whats interesting is what would have happened if the Japanese wife in the article had given up her Japanese citizenship in return for an Australian citizenship (as Japanese citizen is not allowed dual nationality and Australia is a part of the commonwealth). If there are any Immigration lawyers reading the article I would be interested in your input.
On the other hand, would be interested in the breakdown of how many of the 123,000 EU immigrants and 143,000 non EU immigrants are in Financial jobs or Entrepreneurial jobs.
The other stat which would be interesting to see is how many of those are High-Net-Worth-Individual (HNWI) and how many of those HNWI have had to leave the UK.
This leads onto the next topic which is Average UK house price hits record high above £190k as annual property inflation picks up again reported in This is Money. Homeownership in the UK has gone down since 2007, so who are the buyers who are increasing the demand in the market if ownership has gone down? Wonder what percentage of HNWI from outside the UK has property in the UK and the break down of the number of property they have.

My question: “Is the UK Property Bubble going to burst after the elections?”

Today:

Brainstormed through names for the business we are in the process of creating. Thinking of using a foreign word in at least one of the words to make the name a bit more unique.
Met up with a fellow startup tribe member at Taylor St Baristas and chatted about his idea and my idea. It was the first time at the cafe. It was pretty good. I don’t think the beans for my Americano were Central American, felt more South American.
Evening Wednesday meet up with the Startup Tribe. It was really good to see everyone’s idea coming together and a few products in the pipeline of being manufactured. We had a special guest Emma Jones. Really interesting experiences and perspective, really like the disclaimer she said at the middle of the talk saying she was providing her opinion which may differ from others due to experiences. There isn’t one right answer to being a successful entrepreneur after all.

Nepal News, Lifeline: Electricity , Overseas aid

News for Today:

Nepal Death toll could rise to 10,000 reports the Huffington Post. Heavy rain is not helping with the rescue and recovery process.
IHS a US Consultancy group has predicted the reconstruction cost could be as high as $5bio exceeding 20% of GDP as reported in IBT. The reconstruction is where international aid will be required and we would be grateful if readers could donate a few bucks to charity, more the merrier.

Lifeline: Electricity

Reports from the ground have messaged saying electricity has been back for today.
Background in regards to power in Nepal. Due to the common nature of power shortages in Nepal, quite a few houses are equipped with solar panels which connect to an inverter battery. Once the battery is charged, it can distribute electricity, but some houses have big batteries meaning solar power is not enough to fully charge the battery and electricity is required. What this means is if electricity is not present it takes a long time for batteries to recharge. From my understanding the batteries and solar panels may not have a smart, charge/discharge system, so power can not be used whilst the battery is being charged. My business partner’s batteries lasted three days meaning they have been very lucky to get electricity back for now.

Help from overseas:

Rumours are that there could be a movement by the Voluntary Architects’ Network lead by Shigeru Ban to establishing a medical center using membrane materials in Nepal. Most likely a smaller scale project compared to the paper tube structure of a Cardboard Cathedral in Christchurch after the quake in 2011 in New Zealand.

UK housing Crisis, Lesson of the day

UK News:

Guardian has reported UK housing crisis is in breach of UN human rights. The next party in charge will really need to put their focus on the current housing issue. The upwards movement in term of cost has to be offset by higher pay/higher benefits or a regulation in the housing market to stop the cost of housing from spiralling. From the looks of things a regulation might be easier to incorporate by the government. The downside is a third of MPs are landowners so if a regulation to cap the cost of housing from spiralling could be shooting oneself in the foot. It will be a challenging decision which ever way.

Today:

Talked to a family friend, whose a professor at Cambridge. He used to be in Banking prior to setting up a business, then decided education was more his paths. It was good to get an insight of his past experiences and being told what I should consider in my new ventures.
Helped to setup a journalist friend’s development website on WordPress. Kualo has good instructions to follow to manipulate the host file so the domain name is linked to an IP before going to the internet to look it up.
Will be catching up with my lifestyle course team this evening online. It will be nice to unwind as the past few days with the Startup tribe and business generation has been pretty busy.

Lesson of the day: Focus and learn but its important to relax.

Nepal Day 3 News, Reports from the Ground

News for Today:

Nepal Government officials are appealing for more supplies of food, medicines, specialised rescue services and body bags, as Aid trickles in, whilst thousands of residents are leaving Kathmandu as reported in the Huffington Post.

India is leading a big effort to survivors with 187 tons of supplies (50 tons of water, 22 tons of food and 2 tons of medicine) being delivered on Sunday as reported in CNN.

Facebook have started a donation campaign for Nepal, matching every dollar which is donated to International Medical Corps until $2mio.

Reports from the ground:

My business partner’s mother got a call from a friend in Nuwakot district, Ghalle village. She was told the village had been destroyed, with no food, water, or aid, but the conversation lasted only for a brief moment because the line was cut. She was unable get hold of her friend when she tried on calling back.

In some shops food prices have tripled or quadrupled.

Hyatt Regency Hotel in Kathmandu is getting bad publicity from the locals as they have a big garden but did not open the space to the public to use. In times of emergency it would be really good to hear people helping each other out. Hopefully things will change tomorrow or the information is outdated.

Photos around Kathmandu by THT & HEV

 

Dharara Tower with inscription of 1991, after the earthquake in 1990BS.

Dharara Tower with inscription of 1991, after the earthquake in 1990BS.

I will be double checking on the information written above with my business partner tomorrow. Will ask for more information from the ground on the situation.

Stamp Duty, Trezoro Royalty

News from the UK:

The news of Labour party scrapping first time buyer stamp duty for property less than 300,000 gbp is interesting, BBC has a bullet point list of the pledges for housing by the parties. Wondering if a cap increase on price of properties (say around triple/quadruple the inflation rate) which were bought off plan and re-sold (flipped) within 2 or 3 years by investors after the property’s completion, could protect property prices from getting inflated. The market is to do with supply and demand but maybe the market needs a cap/stability for first time buyers instead of first time buyer schemes which effectively helps leverage first time buyers to buy from investors determining the price. Investors would dislike this idea but they will still make some profit on increase in price due to demand and first time buyers will get better value for their hard earned cash.

My free coffee day:

Met up with a friend in the afternoon. Tried Trezoro a royalty program at Full stop in Shoreditch and by signing up, I got a free coffee.

In the evening went through the business idea and specifications with my co-founder. We think we are ready to start to code on Saturday.

Ideas for Nepal

Ideas to help the survivors of the Earthquake in Nepal.

1. Poncho as used by a lot of runners prior to a Marathon race.

Poncho to keep rain off and keep warm

Poncho to keep rain off and keep warm

 

2. Sleeping bag using minimum amount of material which could be available in Nepal.

From what is seen from the pictures on the media, survival kits have yet to be given out to the locals, so decided to do a quick sketch of ideas.

Information on Shelter and Warmth Survival Kit on Wikipedia.

 

Nepal Day 2 After The Earthquake

News for Today:

Nepal Earthquake. Tent cities are springing up for the displaced according to the BBC, with the aftershocks and the failing infrastructure, International Aid is going to be very much in need. It would be good for the International Aid Agencies to tell the media on the current status with a list of items which the people who have been affected are in need of, the severity of the demand of those items and how aid agencies have allocated their focus on the problems at hand.

Guessing, Aid Agencies would divide the demand into Water, Food, Shelter, Medical Supplies, Blankets/Sleeping bags, Clothes, Rescue Equipment/team. If they could have a pie chart or a bar chart of whats being focussed it would be helpful.

From my understanding getting shelter at the moment is hard and I hope companies such as Shelter Systems can step in to help the people of Nepal. An architect friend of mine has designed a primary design of an Earthquake Shelter (eg as below) after we discussed about the need for shelters in Nepal, the design and explanation can be found on Nepal Shelters on his site

Nepal Shelter

Nepal Shelter Design

I have donated to Oxfam but I don’t know where the money donated will be focussed onto. Hope its water and food.

The likeliness of landslides have gone up due to the earthquake and Earthquake without Frontiers, who recently had a meeting in Kathmandu, have a page on the subject with models on which locations are high risk.

The hotel as of last night had one guest who was missing whilst on a trek with a guide. Due to the telecommunication systems being down we were unable to to reach them. Gratefully and luckily we were able to find him and the guide later on in the day.

At the moment Im in discussion with my business partner to get more information from locals in Nepal. Im feeling media coverage is looking more at it from an International point of view rather than a local perspective.