2016-08-24 -- HERD
HERD conducted a self-funded study of month long daily media monitoring of online and social media about from April 29, 2015 immediately after the April 25, 2015 Nepal Earthquake. We collected stories reported about the extent of damage (human and resource casualties), aid management, relief and rescue efforts, economic and social impact synthesized and prepared daily reports. A summary report of the month long media monitoring was also prepared. The dissemination of the study was conducted in national and international forums.
HERD conducted a self-funded study of week-long daily media monitoring of online and social media about from April 18 to 25, 2016 to mark the one-year anniversary of April 25, 2015 Nepal Earthquake. We collected stories reported about the review of aid management, relief and rescue efforts, economic and social impact and people’s reactions, synthesized and prepared a special series report.Read more
Media Monitoring of #NepalEarthquake - May 19
2015-05-20 -- HERD
Almost one month into the incident and news coming from all corners about the effect of the earthquake goes to show the scale of impact it has had upon our country. Destruction has led to disruptions not only in terms of loss of lives and property, but also other areas such as health, education and sports. There is still uncertainty with regards to whereabouts of the missing and therefore, there is no full stop as yet to the ongoing rescue and relief operations. To some extent, this has also been an eye opener for long term disaster management and preparedness as this tragedy has instigated several debates in the public forums and parliaments. More highlights from the media coverage:
The Outbreak Alarm
Online Khabar reports that the number of people suffering from pneumonia and seasonal flu has risen in Kalikot – which could be an early sign of epidemic outbreak if the situation worsens from the current stage. According to the news report there is drug shortage in the health facilities and although Kalikot is not directly affected by the earthquake, the epidemic could be spread in the whole district and elsewhere if the problem of drug shortage is not solved as soon as possible.
Considering the possibility of epidemic outbreak, Epidemiology and Disease Control Division (EDCD) has deployed 175 doctors, including 125 foreigners, in Ramechhap, Rasuwa, Nuwakot, Sindhupalchowk, Dhading and other badly affected districts. The medical teams will work to create awareness among people about the possible outbreak of communicable diseases. Likewise, the teams will carry out necessary work for health services in the quake-affected areas and coordinate with the central-level authorities regarding the health condition of the people and offer services as needed. All doctors working under WHO have also been deployed to earthquake affected districts for any sort of medical assistance.
Concern over Maternal and Child Health
UNICEF has reported cases of increased pre-term babies due to the earthquake, increasing complications for treatment of pregnant women. Patrick Adams in Foreign Policy writes an interesting article about Nepal’s ‘renegade strategy’ to prevent maternal mortality. He opines that with the earthquake devastation and severe implications on the already overstretched health system, Nepal needs to rethink on the use of misoprostol (which is a controversial drug as WHO hasn’t approved it) as a solution to prevent pregnancy in areas where health facilities are hard to access. He says, “Nepal needed something else — a stopgap measure for making pregnancy safer until access to quality care could be extended to all. So the country went its own way. In providing women with misoprostol at the community level — taken orally, immediately after birth, the drug decreases blood flow to the uterus, drastically reducing the risk of hemorrhage — Nepal broke with the global guidance set by the World Health Organization, which had yet to issue the drug its seal of approval.”
The Art of Fundraising
Maximum funds yield possibility of maximum support. Therefore, Nepal requires good sum of money and greater utilisation at this point of time so that it meets the basic needs of the affected as well as supports in the long term rebuilding efforts. Debbie Wolfe has come up with 5 inspired ideas to raise fund for relief effort in Nepal and they are:
- Hosting a Nepali meal
- Holding a musical night
- Auctioning your services
- Creating your own sponsored event
- Checking your calendar and planning a special event such as birthday party, retirement, dance recital, etc
Fundraising can also be effective with renowned personalities making an appeal. Bear Grylls– a celebrated TV personality renowned for his wild adventure and survival skills and also Scout Chief of Disasters Emergency Committee has made a personal appeal to help the earthquake survivors through a Youtube video.
Relief and Rebuilding Efforts
Following suit of other political forces, former Maoist PLA combatants have also expressed their commitment to be engaged in rebuilding and reconstruction efforts. Popular celebrities Hari Bansa Acharya and Madan Krishna Shrestha are also reaching out to different affected areas in the country with relief materials, ekantipur.com reports.
Oxfam through an infographic on Twitter claims that it has been conducting relief activities in 7 districts; 3 within Kathmandu valley and 4 outside – Gorkha, Dhading, Nuwakot and Sindhupalchowk. Furthermore, the organisation claims that it has served a large section of people providing the following services to this many number of beneficiaries: water - 53800; sanitation – 7950; hygiene promotion – 27930; food support - 6260; livelihood support - 500; and emergency shelter – 20230.
Shelter is still a prime concern for the affected as locals of Barpak, Gorkha - the epicenter of the earthquake are demanding for permanent shelter rather than relief aid. Pahilo Post has published an article by an engineer who reiterates the necessity of building temporary homes before monsoon begins.
Some communities are finding their own way, seeking their own solutions as there is an interesting story about a village, Bhulbu, just 25 kilometres away from Kathmandu finding its own way to rebuild itself.
A Blessing in Disguise?
The Guardian covers an interesting story about how the earthquake led to unity among the villagers in Langtang valley with few survivors and complete devastation. As interesting is another story in Swasthya Khabar of earthquake becoming a boon for the residents of Khagankot VDC of Jajarkot who hadn’t seen a doctor before – luckily now being treated by a doctor posted there after the earthquake devastation.
For long term solutions to disaster management, leadership is the key as Ujjwal Thapa, Chairperson Bibeksheel Nepali party opines in his article published in Republica about missing leadership to handle the disaster of such gravity.Read more
Media Monitoring of #NepalEarthquake - May 18
2015-05-19 -- HERD
Rebuilding with Resilience has been the order of the day. With the death toll almost reaching 9000, there is increased focus on rebuilding efforts and initiations have been taken – from non-resident Nepalis to political parties as they have announced their rebuilding plans in the affected districts. Some interesting experiences have also been documented such as that of a survivor who was buried under a debris for 82 hours and a resident of Mangal Bazaar, an old town of Lalitpur who vividly explains how his small moments of happiness were lost in the earthquake devastation. More highlights from the media coverage:
It is great news that 26% Britons have donated to Disaster Emergency Committee Nepal Earthquake Appeal in the two weeks since it was launched based on research carried out by Charities Aid Foundation, Charity Digital News reports. It is a great gesture from the people of Britain to shower their love and affection to the earthquake affected. Similarly, a political party from India, CPIM Maharastra has also announced on Twitter that it is donating 1 million rupees to the quake affected for relief and rehabilitation work. Despite the aid flowing ekantipur reports that the donors and Nepali officials are divided over who lead the rebuilding efforts. While the government is in favour of a separate entity for quick decision making and procurement, World Bank, a major donor views that establishing such an entity could “waste time and energy early in the recovery period; create competition between itself and the line ministries for both budget and experts; blur mandates and responsibilities and slow down decision-making; weaken the capacity of existing ministries by taking away their best officers; and potentially result in a permanent agency that will struggle to find a new mandate once the post-earthquake emergency has ended.”
Government pulls up its socks
It seems that the government is making good early steps towards rebuilding efforts. President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav has himself shown the way providing counselling to the quake affected at Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital. Prime Minister Sushil Koirala is travelling to India next month to meet his counterpart Narendra Modi and discuss with him regarding long term plan for reconstruction and rehabilitation, Deccan Herald reports. It has also put a restriction on construction of new buildings to two storeys until it comes up with a new building code. According to Setopati, cabinet has also assigned districts to ministers to lead and supervise relief and rehabilitation works in the affected areas. Government team along with UNDP team has also assessed the extent of damage at glacial lake in Tsho Rolpa region in order to apply any precautionary measures, if required.
Relief and Rebuilding Efforts
WFP and UNHRD have teamed up for their relief efforts as they have contributed in constructing new hospital in Kathmandu for emergency treatment. Similarly, UNHCR is also distributing solar lamps to the quake displaced.
With regards to the rebuilding efforts, Canada has extended its helping hand of support to the quake affected as it has shown willingness for the resettlement of the affected as per the guideline and need of Nepal government, Republica reports. Similarly, UCPN (Maoist) under the leadership of Chairperson Prachanda has also announced of 15-day rebuilding campaign in Sindhupalchowk – the most affected district. Some non-resident Nepalis have also come forward in terms of relief aids in Dolakha and Solukhumbu and are developing their plans to rebuild Gorkha – the epicenter of the earthquake.
An individual on Twitter applauds the efforts made by Nepal Army as he says, “Big Salute to Nepal Army working relentlessly in rescue and now in relief and rebuilding efforts.” Pahilopostcovers an awfully fearsome experience of a survivor buried under debris for 82 hours and his victory over death. Normalcy has also been focused by media in order to secure livelihood of the survivors as an article mentions the need for subsistence farmers to get back to their field to manage their food and living. As a cross cutting issue, organizations such as The Gender Agency have focused on gendered assessment of the impact upon women due to the earthquake and thus a guideline has been developed on Rapid Gender Analysis as part of Specific Sector Gendered Assessment documenting the general information (sex and age; impact of emergency; vulnerabilities; capacities and coping mechanisms; gender roles and responsibilities; access and participation). Through the guideline, specific information related to Shelter, Non Food Items, Water-Sanitation-Hygiene, Health, Food Security, Livelihoods, Nutrition, Early Recovery, Education, Protection and Central Coordinating Mechanism can be received.
Nepali Times covers interesting stories of bravery and resilience of the quake affected and struggling to overcome the pain with the message, “We will bend but we will not break”. Let’s overcome this tragedy with that very spirit!Read more
Media Monitoring of #NepalEarthquake - May 17
2015-05-17 -- HERD
Entering into the fourth week of the D(ark)-Day relief efforts continue tirelessly. Given that magnitude of the disaster and under-resourced Nepal, managing the basic amenities for the quake affected is still a major challenge. Like the two sides of the coin – there are positives and negatives. There are stories of misutilisation of government resources such as helicopters by politicians in the name of ‘monitoring’ of affected sites while politicians such as Gagan Thapa and parties like Bibeksheel Nepali giving everything to the national cause. Other highlights of the media coverage on the earthquake:
Government showing the way!
Amidst all criticism, government is doing is fair bit. Ekantipur reports that all money collected in the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund directly goes to the affected as there is very negligible administration/management cost incurred in the process in stark contrast to the administration costs of the international development agencies. Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation has also come up with short, mid-term and long term plans for the protection and reconstruction of heritages damaged by the earthquake. Government has also directed Constituent Assembly members not to misuse helicopters in the name of monitoring visits that need to be used for relief and rescue operations, Pahilo Post reports. Nepal Police also deserves a laudable applause, especially for its disseminating information at this time of emergency. As an instance, the agency was requested on Twitter to provide statistics about the damage of the police offices caused by the earthquake and within hours, it produced a detailed statistics of the extent of the damage throughout the country.
Youth led political forces follow suit!
Gagan Thapa, political leader from Nepali Congress led a team of 10 menial workers and 40 engineering students from Thapathali Engineering College helped to construct 48 temporary houses in Kumari village of Nuwakot. Nepali Times also covers relentless efforts in relief works covered by Bibeksheel Nepali – a new political force very popular among the young generation. CPN – Maoist also conducted a health camp in Singati Bazar of Dolakha district to 300 quake victims with fractured limbs and communicable diseases such as diarrhea. This team was led by a Dr. Icidia from Japan.
Even Buddhist nuns from the monasteries trained in Kung Fu – a martial art are doing their bit to support the quake affected by removing rubble to clearing paths; distributing food and helping to erect tents to provide shelter. Himani Trust is also providing relief support to quake affected in Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, Lalitpur, Sindhupalchowk and Dhading. Likewise, last week OFDA from US government claims that it airlifted 1820 additional rolls of plastic sheeting for temporary shelter. Indian government through IIM Calcutta and IIM Kharagpur has also launched a Needs Assessment Survey to detail down exact necessities for the quake victims to trigger more support.
Fear of the earthquake is still looming on people’s hearts and minds and is taking toll with continuous aftershocks. Some of the public expressions regarding their fear:
- “Hope that these horrific days won't be returning back. We don't have respite even for a single second.”
- “As the evening creeps in, the question - to sleep or not to sleep inside the house looms large.”
Aljazeera has also covered of striking fear as buildings continue to crack in. The Guardianregards mental and emotional aspect another ‘invisible’ disaster. Similarly, Pahilo Post writes about people outside Kathmandu valley scared of returning back to Kathmandu.
Fear is not just related to the earthquake and the aftershocks. Gordon Brown, former UK prime minister also fears of child traffickers eyeing Nepal tragedy and capitalizing this vulnerable situation and vulnerable children.
Picture of Positivity
Some negative incidents trigger positive responses. Kunda Dixit opines that after the earthquake incident, Nepalis are surprisingly ‘upbeat’ and united to develop Nepal. We have also witnessed positive stories of Nepalis gradually learning to cope with the disaster. A photo on Twitter displays Radio Melamchi - a local FM radio station based in Sindhupalchowk, the most affected district operating from maize field. Prisoners also have requested to be given opportunity to support in the relief and rebuilding efforts.
All’s well that ends well. Hope this disaster opens doors and windows for a developed and prosperous Nepal.
Media Monitoring of #NepalEarthquake - May 16
2015-05-16 -- HERD
Human disaster brings about human stories. Saddening stories and stories of hope have been posted in various blogs where survivors – national and foreign have expressed their experiences of high octane emotions. With a staggering figure of 238 quakes of magnitude 4 and over from April 25 to May 16 and death toll reaching about 8500, more aid is coming to Nepal and more relief works are in the pipeline. Other highlights of the media coverage:
Japan government has provided additional support to the earthquake affected by providing 1 million USD to UNFPA. UNFPA is using the aid to provide lifesaving interventions to women and adolescents. With this donation, UNFPA is:
- Procuring Reproductive Health Kits - designed to respond to three month's need for various population sizes. The kits contain all that is needed to enable clean delivery, treatment related to sexual violence, clinical delivery, treatment of sexually-transmitted infections, management of miscarriage, suture of tears and various contraceptives to prevent unwanted pregnancies.
- Distributing Dignity Kits - containing items such as clothes, sanitary napkins, flashlights and other essentials
- Working to help prevent sexual and gender-based violence - through the creation of women friendly spaces, the distribution of dignity kits, and prevention outreach activities to the survivors of violence by ensuring adequate supplies and trained health workers are in place; ensuring confidentiality and dignity of the women and girls involved; and promoting establishment of multi-sectoral support including health care through clinical management of rape, as well as psychosocial support and case management services along with legal aid, police and security assistance, and socioeconomic support.
Similarly, Red Cross (IFRC) has also trebled its aid support to the quake victims as reported by Republica.
With the increasing aid and more pledge going on for donations to the affected, there are also concerns about the aid transparency as an individual on Twitter writes, “Rumour in Nepal: 90% of aid money goes to KTM government, local officials and project administration, only 10% goes to earthquake victims.”
Relief and Rebuilding Efforts Continue
Relief efforts have continued with development agencies working in tandem with the local agencies and the community people. UNICEF has distributed hygiene kits in Baluwa village in Gorkha, one of the earthquake-affected districts in Nepal. The bag contains soaps, toothbrushes, toothpastes, nail cutters, sanitary pads, towels, undergarments, mosquito nets, water purifier, cloth, hanging rope, combs and a water bucket. Similarly, WHO is also coordinating with MSF team to map existing resources to provide health services in Nuwakot.
With regards to long term support for the quake affected, the government has been asked to prepare a long term action plan for rehabilitation by the Development Committee of the parliament, Republica reports. In order to coordinate with international community as well as to retrieve and disseminate important information, government bodies have also joined Twitter to reach out in the public space post the earthquake incident.
To clean up the debris caused by the earthquake, clean up campaign has been started in Bhaktapur under the leadership of Chief Secretary, Setopati reports. The government has also made a decision regarding private hospitals with cracked buildings to seek approval from the government before resuming its services. Swastha Khabar Patrika reports that patients are not willing to be treated inside the Maternity Hospital building; prefer to be treated outside in the tent; risk of epidemic threat. The online portal has also published a very informative article with detailed description of causes of epidemics, diseases that could be spread and the prevention measures.
Stories of Sorrow and Message of Hope
Anup Kaphle shares a sorrowful story of the pain that people of Larpak, Gorkha are going through with the loss of lives and the loss of hope. Meanwhile, there are also some stories that bring about positivity as Peta Doherty via Sydney Morning Herald writes, “People in Nepal so hospitable despite death and devastation after earthquake - experiences near Langtang area.” Mercy Corps has been running a great campaign – requesting people to give their message of hope for the quake victims.Read more
Media Monitoring of #NepalEarthquake - May 15
2015-05-15 -- HERD
As the third week since disaster comes to the close, reactions are still flowing in. As the media coverage reflects, it is more about rebuilding and reconstruction now. Development agencies such as UN Women and UNICEF are concerned about the lives of women and children. Extensive media coverage has its own pros and cons. Christiano Ronaldo donating 5 million pound as aid to Nepal Earthquake victims has being proved as a fake news has been a major disappointment – not only in terms of receiving aid support but also raising a big question on the ‘credibility check’ on the news. Other highlights of the media coverage:
423 million dollars has been pledged for reconstruction of Nepal post the earthquake and so far only 13 percent has been funded. The five major sectors of funding so far from the international community include:
- Logistics – 24%
- Shelter and Non-Food Items (NFIs) – 21%
- Coordination – 16%
- Health – 12%
- Water, Sanitation and Hygiene – 6%
UNOCHA states that close to 300 (294) organizations have been working in 64 districts of Nepal for the earthquake affected.
Similarly, UNICEF ROSA claims that 70% of birthing centres in 14 affected districts have been destroyed or damaged and maternity services have been severely affected. It claims that 12 babies born every hour are without basic health care in worst hit areas. UN Women also claims that 318000 female headed households are in need of support in worst hit districts.
Rescue and Relief Efforts
After several assumptions and rumours, finally it has been confirmed that the US navy helicopter has been found in wrecked condition in a village of Dolakha, 11200 feet above the sea level and Nepali rescuers have found 3 bodies near the chopper, Epoch Times claims. Apart from the foreign teams, several organizations based in Nepal have been providing relief support. Save the Children claims that it has provided 18000 tarpaulins and shelter kits to the affected while Heifer International has provided relief supplies to 10,434 families. World Food Programme has been operating through Humanitarian Staging Area (HAS) for emergency preparedness. UN Women also has been establishing and training women’s groups to help prevent gender based violence in 16 displacement camps.
Diverse Range of Support
Nepal has also experienced diverse range of support for the earthquake affected. Xinhua News Agency reports that psychologists from Hong Kong have been providing counselling to earthquake victims. They are representatives of Post Crisis Counselling Network. By asking 5 questions, they are able to know the mental status of the victims to determine if they have post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Similarly, Translators without Borders has also been supporting relief operations through translation service for the foreign expert teams. The agency claims that it has been providing the following services such as:
- Translated over 500 terms into Nepali, Newari, and Hindi for search and rescue teams and for people monitoring messages coming from the affected populations.
- Translated seven approved Twitter messages about first aid and protection during/after an earthquake that have been used widely by all aid organizations.
- Translated and distributed a comprehensive First Aid document, English to Nepali.
- Created and distributed language profiles to help first responders.
- Translated and distributed ‘after earthquake’ messaging from the Centers for Disease Control.
Challenges, Risks and Opportunities
According to Nepali Times, a major challenge for Nepal is to provide short term shelter and long term housing in mainly in rural areas but also in ravaged urban centres. UNDP also states that providing shelter for the quake displaced and clearing debris before the monsoon season is critical. UNDP also highlights the risks of women living under the tents. With no toilets left standing women have to relieve themselves in the open. Women are ashamed to do this out in the open during the day and afraid to go out in the night. Nevertheless, it also claims that the earthquake provides a good opportunity for Nepal to build its future.
Mental status of the survivors has also been severely affected due to the earthquake and the subsequent aftershocks. One individual on Twitter expresses, “Earthquake is coming in such a fashion that not only the houses have been cracked; our minds also have been cracked”. Similarly, another individual after witnessing the Sindhupalchowk disaster, writes, “The cities shaken by Nepal Quake in Sindhupalchowk district are becoming ghost cities due to huge devastation”.
Resilience is the key at this point of time as Jane Moller Hansen opines, “Resilient and Self-reliant spirit of Nepali people to restore homes, heritage, culture and identity of Nepal”.Read more
Media Monitoring of #NepalEarthquake - May 14
2015-05-14 -- HERD
Almost coming to the near end of three weeks of the disaster, situation is not under control yet. Rescue and relief efforts are still going on and seem likely to continue at least for few more days. With no sign of the whereabouts of the lost US aircraft and danger signals of more landslides to occur in the hilly regions, we need to stay alert and have our disaster preparedness plan ready especially with the monsoon season approaching. Major highlights of the today’s media coverage:
Landslides – An Emerging Threat
Himal Khabarpatrika reports that in the 14 affected districts, 3000 floods have already occurred, some of them are very threatening which could cause damage to more lives and properties. According to an initial report by ICIMOD, six major rivers have been blocked due to the earthquake. Under the leadership of ICIMOD, a task force has been formed with the representatives from Government of Nepal, NASA, USGS and scientists from European and Chinese research agencies to do a thorough study on landslides occurring in Nepal post the earthquake. Online Khabar also reports that various highways have been blocked due to the landslides.
Government Actions Heat Up
As a reaction to criticisms from all corners regarding ineffective management of relief aid campaigns, Prime Minister Sushil Koirala has warned of strict action against those creating hurdles in relief distribution by being involved in irregularities and discrimination in the distribution of relief meant for the earthquake victims. Setopati also reports that the parliamentary committee is set to monitor the destruction and relief activities ongoing in the 14 most affected districts. Probably this initiation has also been triggered as a response to key ministries being compelled to be operated under the open skies. As a precaution and necessity felt to develop a rigid urban construction plan, government has also put a two month ban on house design approvals barring any new building construction to take place in the coming two months. The government team is also demolishing quake damaged buildings in Kathmandu and Lalipur districts, The Kathmandu Post reports.
Supporting government’s initiation, an op-ed article in The Kathmandu Post draws views that government’s initiatives would be more cost effective and accountable than the interventions of NGOs and INGOs. Nepali Times also recommends government to begin planning for long-term rehabilitation and reconstruction by conducting a thorough assessment of damage with the support of foreign expertise. An integrated coordination with line ministries, development partners, and donors is also required to execute the plan. The article also recommends on ‘cutting through reams of bureaucratic red tape’ as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Rumours and fake news regarding aftershock predictions have also added to the trauma for the earthquake victims. This has sparked serious criticism in public circles. An individual on Twitter writes, “If you are predicting earthquakes, please keep your knowledge to yourself and spare us.” A good initiation has been made with regards to banning the fake websitesthrough an online fake site reporting mechanism by filling up a google doc form. It is a hard time for all Nepalis and therefore another individual on Twitter writes, “Darwin theory applies here. It is a struggle for existence.” An interesting report is posted on Wired regarding how through informal channels and circles, effective rescue and relief operations have been carried out through motivated youth. The report claims that some ‘lifesavers’ have ‘hacked’ Nepal’s ineffective aid system and saved lives. The New York Times has also expressed its concern over education system being severely affected due to the earthquake as most of the school buildings have been destroyed and need more time to reopen thus affecting the delay in teaching and learning at the start of the school curriculum period. Some villages are completely destroyed and the survivors do not want to stay in those places out of terror and loss of hope, the Guardian reports. In this dire situation, migrants working overseas also have started to come back returning to help rebuild lives and homes, Nepali Times reports. The Indian media is still in a state of shock with its negative portrayal as Times of Indiareflects on how India made a ‘foe out of a friend’ due to its media reporting on earthquake stories.
Limping and Crawling Back
Republica reports that life is slowly crawling back to normal in Barpak – the epicenter of the earthquake and Kathmandu – the centre stage of all national decisions. With the decline in number and magnitude of aftershocks, hope for a better tomorrow sparks the spirits of all Nepali survivors.Read more
Media Monitoring of #NepalEarthquake - May 13
2015-05-13 -- HERD
It seems there is no respite for residents of Nepal with a second major earthquake of 7.3 magnitude hitting Nepal with the epicenter about 83 km east from Kathmandu, directly affecting almost half of the districts (32 out of 75) and taking lives of almost 70 people. US Geological Survey reports that yesterday’s quake was followed by 17 major aftershocks. There have also been landslides in some parts which raises more caution. With the tension building and people in traumatic situation, the media coverage of May 13 about the earthquake is highlighted below:
More International Support
With the second major hit, foreign aid to Nepal has been increasing. Open Nepal mentions that USD 595,806,559 relief aid has been pledged for the earthquake with USD 546, 136, 719 internationally and USD 546,136,719 nationally. Auto Car Pro claims that Hyundai Motor Company is also donating USD 300,000 (Rs 1.89 crore) for humanitarian relief and rebuilding projects while Nissan Motor Co has donated 10 million yen (Rs 50 lakh) to the World Food Programme, which is aiding rescue efforts by providing food for the people in the affected areas in Nepal.
Fund for NGOs has also listed donors and other international agencies providing relief and other services in Nepal namely: We Help Nepal, Canadian Red Cross, Concern Worldwide, Association for International Solidarity in Asia, Medair, ADRA Nepal, World Food Programme, World Vision, Goal Global, Heart to Heart International, Lutheran World Relief, HelpAge USA, AmeriCares, CARE, Catholic Relief Services, Direct Relief, Global Giving, International Relief Teams, UNICEF, Operation USA, Save the Children, Seva Foundation, World Help, Hindu Janajagruti Samiti, Oxfam and Handicap International.
Minister for Health and Population, Mr. Khagaraj Adhikari has requested international medical teams to extend their period of stay. The government has classified the international medical teams into three categories: type 1, 2 and 3. Type 1 for basic health services, type 2 for more intensive hospital care and type 3 - best equipped teams, who can provide continued care for at least a couple of months.
Rescue and Relief Efforts – A Challenging Task
USGS states that although aftershocks may occur less often, people should remain aware of the possibility of aftershocks in the coming weeks and months, especially when working in or around vulnerable structures or in landslide-prone areas. There is also news about landslides followed by earthquake creating roadblocks and hampering relief efforts. A US Marine Helicopter used during aid mission has also gone missing and there are no reports of its whereabouts yet as reported by The Hindustan Times. Annapurna Post reports that the lost helicopter is being searched in Tamakoshi River.
As a response to MoHP’s disaster and emergency situation, Swasthya Khabar reports that the ministry has listed 25 government hospitals as ‘central hub’ hospitals. Mappers globally have also started to work on identifying the landslide risk prone areas for prior preparation for controlling further damage.
In light of addressing difficult rescue and relief operations of the earthquake, OSOCC Emergency Cell has listed five major priorities for humanitarian intervention:
· Search and Rescue
· Access to Cut Off Areas
· Shelter: tents and tarpaulins
· Food Delivery to newly displaced people
As a reaction against ‘inappropriate’ legal provisions regarding the right of the disaster victims, a writ petition has been filed in the Supreme Court. A lot of rumours are being spread through online media and social media sites regarding predictions of the next aftershock which has created a lot of fear and havoc in the public. Nepal Police, through its Twitter account has officially requested the public not to believe upon such rumours and making it viral. National Students' Union - Student Wing of Nepali Congress has established a fund to collect money worth a cup of tea from each of its members to reconstruct schools, Pahilo Post reports. The Union has also planned to sponsor education of 1000 children who have lost their parents. Stephen Mikesell, in today’s edition of The Kathmandu Post views that lack of maintenance, use of cement and lack of knowledge are three major problems for destruction of buildings due to the earthquake.
After the news that tents are being distributed to Constituent Assembly members meant to be distributed the earthquake affected, it received wide criticism from all corners. As an immediate step, Constituent Assembly chairperson Mr. Subash Chandra Nembang instructed the assembly to halt the tent distribution. Annapurna Post reports. Meanwhile, UCPN (Maoist) party had decided to provide the received tents to the people affected from second earthquake in Dolakha.
CNN Money states that the second earthquake in Nepal could add to $1 billion to the total cost of rebuilding the country; which would push the total cost of repairs to more than $6 billion; equivalent to 30% of Nepal's economic output. The Economic Times in light of loss of property due to damage of buildings in the earthquake; provides tips on ways of protecting our assets from natural disasters such as insuring our properties.
Some Smiles amidst Cries
Interestingly, Liberian women are also keen to help Nepal after fighting Ebola which is a great gesture of support from the African nation. A success story of disaster preparedness has been shared by Asian Development Bank regarding the government school buildings supported by them with earthquake proof technology not being affected by the earthquake. UNFPA set up women friendly spaces to the affected 14 districts. UNICEF has also provided support to 4500 children experiencing profound stress as a result of their experiences during Nepal Earthquake. A great source of inspiration have been the younger generation taking active initiation in relief programmes going to high risk places and providing relief aids.
Media Monitoring of #NepalEarthquake - May 9
2015-05-09 -- HERD
A fortnight of fear with two weeks passed and the stories continue to be told with the death toll nearing 8000. With the news that Christiano Ronaldo, the mega-star footballer donating 5 million pound and reports that China’s rescue and relief operation to Nepal its biggest ever to a foreign country, there is no denial of the fact that there is still greater focus on disaster management of Nepal by the global community. An interestingly contrasting viewpoint is put forward by Andrew Nelson, an anthropologist about that the global media preferences while reporting the earthquake incidents and what was really missed from reporting. Major highlights of the media coverage:
Celebrities for Nepal
Christiano Ronaldo, mega star striker from Real Madrid donates 5 million pound for the earthquake victims as reported by Telegraph Nepal. Several other celebs have requested their fans and global community through UNICEF to support Nepal with powerful messages such as “Children of Nepal are in danger”, by Juan Mata, from Manchester United Football Club and singer Selena Gomez saying, “This isn’t a moment to lose”. Deepak Chopra, a public speaker has also requested his followers to support the earthquake victims through Mercy Corps. Paras Khadka, a youth icon in Nepal and captain of Nepali national cricket team also raises Rs. 2 million through his fundraising tours in Sydney, Melbourne and Darwin by auctioning his bat.
The Hard Road
There are multiple challenges as reported in the media to come to normalcy and start rebuilding efforts, especially in rural communities. The New York Times writes that Nepalese villages devastated by the earthquake are left with minimal or no attention and are struggling to cope with the disaster as international attention shifts and there are no relief efforts being carried out. BBC News also reports on challenges to the economy while already hard-hit economy gets worsened due to the loss of human resources and property. Nepali Times also presents a bleak picture of areas close to Kathmandu such as Nala, Chhatre Deurali, Harisiddhi, Bungamati, Sankhu and Changu Narayan that have been neglected of relief support. Rescue efforts in Langtang have been affected by the snowfall. Temporary shelters at Bhaktapur were also flooded with heavy rain. There are also complaints about distribution of low quality tarpaulins as most of them have already been damaged.
The Missed Plot
Government of Nepal has admitted several lapses in disaster preparedness, rescue and relief operations as reported by Republica. According to Bam Dev Gautam, Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister, “The disaster was beyond our expectations and unprecedented in scale. So our efforts could not meet the expectations of the quake victims on time.” Chief Secretary also speaks on similar lines as he says, “"I admit that we didn't have capability and preparedness to handle a disaster of such magnitude. Even if we did, we would not be able to maintain that scale of resources, all the time, in anticipation of such disaster." Republica also reports about flaws in relief distribution due to lack of government coordination and victims near highway and roadside receiving more relief than those in the distant places. Andrew Nelson, Lecturer of Anthropology at University of North Texas brings international community to attention by raising serious concern over global media’s biasness and preferential reporting as ‘classquake’ of earthquake. He points out some issues that were not addressed:
- Attention was focused more on Nepal's recognizable symbols and victims at Mt. Everest Base Camp while under reporting of devastation in rural Nepal was more extensive
- Living in those fragile mud houses are the rural poor, and the indigenous Newar and recent rural-to-urban migrants who cannot afford to rent or buy new houses outside of the congested urban cores or peripheral agro-towns of Kathmandu valley, therefore it is a ‘classquake’.
- Nepal’s national building code is a perfect example of the growing disparity between Nepal’s rich and poor classes. Drafted in 1994, the code was not enacted for nine years, until 2003. As of Saturday’s quake, only three (Kathmandu, Patan, Dharan) of Nepal’s 58 municipalities had adopted the code as mandatory in the house-building permit process.
- Delay and partial implementation of the code, growing real estate and construction industries benefit from an ineffective code. A lack of regulation allows companies to market earthquake safety as a selling point rather than a requirement. Developers promise code compliance to homeowners, but then bribe inspectors in order to take cost-saving short cuts.
Despite the criticism, the government hasn’t taken any step backward and has continued in his efforts. It has deployed engineers and other officials for inspection to affected districts such as Kavre. Similarly, to prevent epidemic outbreaks, the government along with the support of volunteers has initiated cleanliness campaigns in Bhaktapur. To prevent further damage on the road and disrupt mobility, safety checks have been conducted at bridges. Harvard School of Public Health has released a webcast on humanitarian response to crisis in Nepal to discuss on responding to disaster and crisis management in Nepal. BBC Newshas also reported that 92 more Gurkhas have been deployed to Nepal to provide aid. UK's Disasters Emergency Committee has claimed that it has reached more than 60 villages, towns and camps in the weeks following the earthquake. They will be providing support to the villages of the serving and veteran Gurkhas and their families. A separate team of Gurkha soldiers already been deployed to set up water purification system in Kathmandu. World Health Organization (WHO) and World Food Programme (WFP) have also set up a transit depot in Nepal to store and dispatch supplies to affected areas. Time has also encouraged foreigners to visit Nepal and promote tourism in Nepal to revive its economy with a powerful message, “The best way to help Nepal is going there on a holiday.”
Learning from Experience
Oxfam has also released its report about its experience of disaster management of Haiti – which could be crucial in terms of planning relief and rebuilding operations as next step for crisis management in Nepal. The key issues to consider as highlighted in the report are: establishing local partnerships, ensuring security in campsites, empowerment of women, increased community buy-in into projects and programmes, more informed staff, increased understanding about gender sensitive approaches, information to and awareness of affected population, comprehensive gender analysis coupled with on-going programme monitoring and evaluation, developing common strategy between NGO community, public institutions and international organization.vRead more