Presbyterian Disaster Assistance makes onsite visit to assess progress
April 25, 2018
Today marks three years since the first of two powerful earthquakes rocked the country of Nepal, leaving thousands dead or homeless and millions in need of humanitarian assistance. Recently, Luke Asikoye, international associate with Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA), traveled to the country to assess recovery efforts and talk with survivors.
One of Asikoye’s first stops was to review a recovery project in some of Nepal’s mountainous regions.
“The people of Nepal are hardworking. They farm on the mountainside, which is very difficult,” he said. “The landscape makes it challenging to get water to their crops, forcing them to go down the mountain and transport the water back up.” He noted that women often travel long distances to wash clothes.
Asikoye said one of the ways church partners help is by sharing rain harvesting methods, which are especially helpful during the country’s wet season.
“During the monsoon period, it can be impossible to get from place to place,” he said. “Sometimes it rains for days. Roads are simple pathways, and the heavy rain can cause mudslides, often blocking the paths, and you could be stuck there for days.”
Rice is a major food source for the country, and farmers spend a great deal of time transporting rice to be milled. PDA, through its partners, is sponsoring the purchase of rice mills.
“We don’t go there with solutions; our approach is to work from the bottom up,” said Asikoye. “Working in partnership with local government and organizations, we are simply supporting them with agricultural techniques to help them achieve a high yield.”
The quake struck just west of the Nepali capital of Kathmandu and caused avalanches around Mount Everest. Forty of the 75 districts in Nepal were affected, some of them severely, government leaders say.
The government estimates a cost of $9.4 billion to rebuild everything. Officials say only a small fraction of the total number of people left homeless have been able to return to their homes. A majority continue to live in recovery camps and villages.
Rick Jones, Mission Communications Strategist, Presbyterian Mission Agency
Today’s Focus: Nepal
Let us join in prayer for:
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Let us pray:
Eternal God, as you have created us and redeemed us for your loving service, so guide us to the darkened corners in the lives of others, that we might bring them into the light of your eternal presence. Grant that, as in Christ you have served us, we might serve all your children, that you may never be without a witness in a hurting world. Amen.