Humanitarian development NGO Plan Ireland is preparing for the coordinated distribution of immediate aid and trying to reach remote and cut-off rural communities to assess the immediate needs of impacted areas.
Plan is receiving reports of widespread devastation in remote districts located just west of the earthquake’s epicenter, with a further 6.7-magnitude aftershock felt in the region Sunday afternoon, closing the Kathmandu airport and hampering the delivery of aid.
“We have teams that have gone into remote communities in Makwanpur and Baglung, close to the epicentre, and an assessment team is headed to Pokhara this evening,” said Mattias Bryneson, Country Director of Plan Nepal.
“There is widespread destruction, collapsed buildings, schools severely damaged, and many roads are blocked due to landslides in rural areas,” said Bryneson, who is traveling by road to Kathmandu from the country’s South East on Sunday.
Some of the worst affected areas are communities of Dalit people, sometimes referred to as the “untouchable” caste. These are already some of Nepal’s poorest and most marginalised, vulnerable communities, making their needs all the more urgent and acute.
Plan Ireland’ Emergency Response, Manager Dualta Roughneen who is on standby to travel to Nepal said:
“It is starting to rain in many areas, and all over the region people are living outside with little or no shelter, children are crying, and health care facilities are overrun. We’re working to coordinate aid in these areas, and prioritising the needs of children and the most vulnerable.”
Plan is working with the government of Nepal, UN agencies, and NGOs to coordinate the distribution of relief. Experienced teams from Plan Nepal are in communities throughout the affected areas, and teams of international specialists are en route to Nepal to aid the relief effort.