Another busy day for the BIA team! Today we prepared for tomorrow’s field operation. The team bought 50 bags of 30kg rice, 50 bags of 3kg of beans, 50 bags of 1kg salt, 50 bars of soap, medicine, sanitary pads, 5 bags of candy.
The team will be heading out tomorrow to deliver the supplies to two villages and will again be bringing our heroic nurse Khema to give medical advice and care to the villagers. On paper this might seem like an easy task, but it requires a full day of running around the city, making phone calls to book transportation, preparing food for the team, etc. It’s inspiring to see everyone put so much effort and dedication into getting everything together for a field operation!
Chogyal Rinpoche and the other part of the team attended the Shelter Security Cluster Meeting at the Department of the Urban Development and Building Construction. The meeting was chaired by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the Red Cross and was attended by over 100 people including representatives from Habitat for Humanity, the World Bank, the Red Cross, a representative of the Canadian Government, etc. We learned many things by attending this meeting and it also allowed to network and connect with other grass root organizations that are helping in Nepal. Some of the major things we learned are:
– With the number of people needing shelter being around 400,
000, it is not feasible for the large organizations to attempt to build
temporary shelters for them. At best, with all NGOs working
together, they could maybe build 100,000 temporary shelters in
twelve months. With the monsoon season fast approaching, the
immediate need is for tents and blankets for these 400,000
people. The UN, Red Cross, Nepal Government need to think of
solutions that are scalable as there are so many people that need
– The Nepal Government has reduced the time window during the
day when relief flights are allowed to land and the airport (i.e. no
longer allowed after 23:00 until the next morning). The Red Cross
estimates that this reduces their capability to bring in tents and
supplies by about 50% and they are now coordinating to deliver
supplies via trucks through India.
– A major concern of the IOM and Red Cross is to ensure uniformity
across the NGOs in terms of the aid that is delivered to villages. If
in one village the NGO operating there builds them a 2000€
house and in another village the NGO operating there builds
200€ houses for the villagers, they can cause major problems
and conflict within the different communities. All NGOs need to
operate and deliver mid to long-term housing in a coordinated and
– The IOM and the Red Cross are working on distributing guidelines
for house demolition to try and keep people safe as they start to
try to clear the area where their house was standing.
– The IOM and other NGOs is working on providing on-site training
and information to villages to teach them how to rebuild their
houses in a more earthquake-proof way.
– The IOM and other NGOs are working on providing the guidelines
for prices and specifications for temporary shelter building to all
NGOs. As a general guideline for the moment, the target cost
should be around 200USD.
– The Red Cross re-emphasized the fact that all NGOs in Nepal
need to commit to and actively employ, train and engage with the
Nepali women in all communities. Across Nepal 25% of all
households are headed by women. It’s important for NGOs to
make it the employment of women a requirement when they
operate in the different villages.
Lastly, the team again visited the Aasharya Nepal Engineering College to discuss the final details required to put in place an agreement. The meeting was very fruitful! Both groups had attendant the same Shelter Security Cluster Meeting and were therefore informed about the situation and activities in Nepal. It was clear to both sides that the joint plan did not interfered with the activities of the Red Cross or UN and that the cost and building approach was inline with the high-level guidelines discussed at the Shelter Cluster Meeting. All points having been discussed and agreed, the next step is to put down on paper the contract details and then to get into action! More details to come soon…
Day 12 – May 10th 2015:
– Collected supplies for tomorrow’s field operation and prepared
team and logistics.
– Attended Shelter Security Cluster Meeting and gained valuable
knowledge about ongoing activities in Nepal.
– Had followed up meeting with Aasharya Nepal Engineering and
agreed on the details of the partnership to build 100 temporary
homes in the Sindhupalchok district.
– Aligned current expenses and donations to ensure financials and
accountability is still transparent.