Reaching Nepal's invisible villages

Villages on the outskirts of Kathmandu had been overlooked by relief efforts until our team reached them with emergency supplies this week. All photos: Miguel Samper for Mercy Corps
May 05, 2015

In the aftermath of Nepal’s massive earthquake, relief efforts have been centered in the capital city of Kathmandu. The next priority was reaching some of the country’s most remote and rural areas — where the damage was still unknown.

But between the capital and Nepal’s remote areas is a set of villages that remained almost invisible during the first days after the disaster. Just outside of Kathmandu, on the capital’s outskirts, small villages were overlooked in the effort to deliver supplies to the busy city or the quiet far-reaches.

Our team in Nepal recognized this gap — families in these villages desperately needed emergency supplies, but had yet to receive any aid. Over the weekend, Mercy Corps staff prepared and delivered supplies to families in Kritipur, Kavresthali and Sankhou villages.

It was the first aid these villages had received since the devastating earthquake. One woman told our staff, “Not even a dog has visited us.”

People in the villages received kits that included tarps, blankets, clothing, soap, towels, toothpaste, water containers, water purification liquid and food. One village specifically requested sleeping mats, and we were able to provide those as well.

Mercy corps employee with buckets filled with supplies
A Mercy Corps staff member prepares emergency kits to be distributed. Gathering supplies and preparing the kits can be a time-consuming process.
Mercy corps employee looking at homes impacted by the earthquake
Many of the homes in these villages have been completely destroyed. Across Nepal, at least 190,000 homes have been leveled.
Women walking and carrying supplies
People in Kavresthali requested sleeping mats to help them endure the long nights they are now spending in thin tents.
A woman in red receiving a bag of supplies
A woman in Kritipur receives a bag full of emergency supplies like food, clothing and water purification liquid.
Woman carrying bag of supplies
Rajani, 26, her husband and their three year-old son survived the earthquake, but their home was destroyed.
Mercy corps employee teaching people to use water purification treatment
In Kritipur, Ram, 39, learns how to purify a large can of water using the water purification liquid from her emergency kit.
Ram pours water into a large container
The water in their village is running, but is unsafe to drink. Just a small amount of the water purification liquid will make a large can of water safe.
Two young women carrying large mercy corps bags of supplies
Rajani's family is now living in part of a neighbor's home. The supplies in their emergency kits will help them survive until they can rebuild.

Our team is working hard to gather more supplies and build more kits that will soon be delivered to other villages. With many of their homes destroyed and rains on the way, the supplies in these emergency kits will help families survive the harsh conditions they're facing and stay healthy while they wait for a chance to rebuild their homes, their communities and their lives after the earthquake.

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