By Sean Ryan - 30 April, 2016
The Catholic overseas aid agency Trócaire has thanked people across Ireland for donating over €1 million to its Nepal Earthquake Appeal.
A year ago this week, at least 8,700 people were killed and more than half a million homes were destroyed in the worst earthquake to hit Nepal for 81 years, measuring 7.8 on the Richter Scale.
Major cities, including the capital Kathmandu, were badly damaged, while in rural areas near the epicentre, 90% of people lost their homes and were left without food.
Trócaire worked through the Caritas network of humanitarian agencies to deliver emergency relief in Nepal.
The Caritas network arranged for 2,000 shelters, 167,000 water purification tablets and over 40,000 hygiene kits were distributed to affected communities.
Speaking at the time, Noreen Gumbo, Trócaire’s Head of Humanitarian programmes, said that Trócaire will be working with Caritas partners to deliver aid to people who have been affected by the disaster.
“We are working through Caritas partners to reach people affected by the earthquake,” she said.
“Already Caritas has brought pre-positioned supplies into Nepal by land from India and will be procuring additional relief materials locally and in India over the coming days. Initial relief activities are focused on temporary shelter, water, sanitation, and hygiene. Because damaged buildings are not safe to re-enter yet, especially with continuing aftershocks, many families are sleeping outside and require shelter and protection from the cold and rain.”
Speaking about the aid effort in Nepal one year on, Trócaire’s Executive Director, Eamonn Meehan said, “The fundraising efforts of local communities and the kindness of individuals across Ireland meant that Trócaire was able to rapidly provide life-saving aid after the earthquake.”
He added, “Thanks to people in Ireland, Trócaire and our UK partner, CAFOD, reached 300,000 people with vital aid such as food, blankets, tarpaulins, cooking utensils, beds, solar lamps and gas stoves.”
“We are continuing to support water and sanitation initiatives and are helping people to rebuild their livelihoods and earn an income.”
Mr Meehan paid particular tribute to communities in Wexford that raised €170,000 led by parish priest Fr Tom Dalton, one of eight local people in Nepal when the earthquake struck.
He said, “To raise over €170,000 is a phenomenal achievement,” said Mr Meehan.
“Everybody involved deserves enormous credit. The tremendous efforts of people across Ireland has allowed us to get shelter, water and other aid to people who lost everything when the earthquake struck.”