Here is a brief update, encouraging but realistic, on the situation in Kathmandu – courtesy of my friends Steve & Marcy, working with the Nick Simons Institute:
We’re all doing a lot of contemplating now that the shakes are subsiding and life seems to be returning to a new normal. We’re all asking what’s next. I’ve scanned all the posts and looked at some of the news sites. We’ve heard so many rumours and rumours repeated. Yes, there is incredible devastation and loss in parts of Nepal. The amount of aid flowing in is staggering. Nepal is struggling to cope with the task of getting the aid to the right places.
What you might not be hearing is that, people are pulling together, our neighbours and local shops are incredibly generous and kind. We have not actually seen any price gouging, looting or rioting. Most of the rumours are fear based and are not helpful. We hear things like “diseases are going to start spreading, food and water are running out, the BIG earthquake is yet to come, etc., etc.” None of this is helpful or true.
Let’s focus on what is true.
Here in Kathmandu there is plenty of food. Trucks with drinking water are being sent throughout the city. Water supply pipes are being worked on, but we do have ground wells. Thankfully it has been raining and there is ground water. Normally this time of year the wells are starting to run dry and it’s very hot and dusty. Yes, the rain is hampering, but it is also providing some much needed water and keeping temperatures down.
We are being extra careful with water and basic supplies. Under normal circumstances we have to be careful. The main roads are open, supply chains will start operating again. Milk is being delivered, newspapers are being printed, groceries from warehouses are arriving, vegetables and fruit are in the markets.
Supplies are slowly getting out to the rural areas. Yes, it’s slow, but they are trying against aftershocks, rain and landslides to get them out there. I know it’s frustrating to be on the outside looking in and all you hear is horror and destruction. From where we’re sitting we need to focus on what we know to be true, what will give hope, what will encourage and spur each other on to love and help each other. Nepal is an incredibly strong country with incredibly strong people. They are resourceful and survivors.
While Steve was in Sindhupalchowk he was amazed and encouraged to see people just 48 hours post earthquake in the fields planting rice. They were pulling what they could from their homes to set up what temporary shelters they could set up. Please pray this is what people focus on. Yes, we need help, but Nepal is not a poor, incompetent country just sitting around waiting for the world to rescue them. They are strong and together they will rebuild. It is going to be hard. It’s going to take a long time, we are going to need a lot of help, but it will happen.