Nepal Lifeline: Shelter
“Nepal urgently needs around one million tents to provide shelter to the affected people as more than 300,000 buildings have collapsed during the earthquake,” claims Deputy Prime Minister Prakash Man Singh as reported in Business Standard.
If there was a quick count of how many tents have already been deployed and how many are on the tarmac of the airport, it would provide a good estimate for how many more tents, other Countries or International Aid agencies need to send. We believe this audit could cause delays whilst the monsoon season is approaching, so a better approach would be to getting the tents out to those in need as fast as possible and then worrying about the numbers/audit later on.
With community spirit, innovation and quick thinking, locals are assembling tents with the material they currently have before the monsoon season as written in the New York Times.
As the news of the Earthquake in Nepal starts to fade from the focus of the media (especially in Britain, due to the Elections and the news of the birth of the princess), we shall remember that tents are only for the short term and medium to long term reconstruction will be required for the 300,000 + buildings which have either been destroyed or damaged.
Higher standard, Earthquake resistant building, which are quick to build should be a topic the Nepalese government and the construction industry should focus on. Architects from Nepal and the World will hopefully put forward their designs to help the reconstruction of a country which has seen heavily destructed.
For buildings which have minor damage or have been weakened, they should be strengthened/retrofitted to improve the Earthquake resistance in case of future earthquakes. An article in the Indian Express in regards to retrofitting can be found.
Reconstruction and strengthening of old buildings will take time, it wont be a few months but more likely a few years, so we hope the media focusses on the reconstruction of Nepal every few weeks/ once a month to keep the public awareness on the progress and provide revised cost on the regeneration as that can help on how much more donations are necessary.
Weddings go on
5 days after the Earthquake on 25th April, on 30th April a Nepalese couple were wed.
For Nepalese weddings, an Astrologer chooses a good date to get married and people plan weddings around that date. One of the couples grandfather was not doing well so the wedding went ahead. This is due to the fact there is a custom when a family member dies, weddings are postponed for a year to mourn that family member.
To some it may seem strange to have a wedding after a major natural disaster but we think it shows the strength of the Nepalese to get on even during the worst of times.