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Needs are great in Nepal

Phil Miller is Concern's Country Director for Nepal and our guest blogger. He is part of the Concern team assessing the damage caused by the recent flooding. This is his second entry.

Read his first here.

In Inaruwa across the road from the government office, between 1,800 and 2,500 people are housed in Bhagwati Secondary School. Vivendra (a colleague from the International Rescue Committee and I take a look around the school to assess conditions and needs. 


Mothers and infants are sleeping on the damp concrete floor. Possessions are piled up in the corner.

A middle aged man greets us with a traditional “Namaste”.  He speaks in a local Hindi/Maitali dialect and Vivendra translates. Ganesh Yadav is from Haripur VDC (a sub-district). His whole VDC is under water. He is unsure where his sister is, as they were separated as they fled. They were given about an hour’s warning of the impending disaster and found themselves wading in swirling waters to find higher ground. His house has gone with everything it in. Ironically, it starts to rain as we are talking and we all huddle under his umbrella. Ganesh remarks that this is his only possession now. 

His friend Ram joins us and some young men gather around. They tell us they share their classroom with 40 other people, at night. They have not received anything since coming to the camp, except meals. 

Distributions

Suddenly children are running from the camp, clutching plates. 

I have witnessed distributions running smoothly, but have also witnessed how poorly run distributions can be fatal. This distribution of the evening meal is remarkably well organised and calm, provided by a local business with boy scouts serving. 

Next step

Back in my hotel, I reflect upon the day and the needs of the displaced and how Concern can help.

We don’t have unlimited resources. We will need to quickly prioritise: who we can help?

I have a bed for the night, a full stomach and a roof over my head and I’m making decisions about people who do not.