2.8 million displaced: Nepal survivors face second disaster

In the field, Emergencies article written on the 01 May 2015

The earthquake in Nepal has razed more than 70,000 homes to the ground and damaged countless others. Thousands of people are now homeless and sleeping outdoors — too afraid to return to their homes. Without clean water, sanitation and life saving aid, disease is imminent.

Sangita, her husband and their two children are one family who lost everything after the Nepal earthquake.

“I’m too scared to go back there,” said Sangita.

“I was asleep when it happened. My children were at home playing when all the furniture started to shake and fall around me. I woke up covered by books and photographs fallen from the shelves. I grabbed my phone and my kids and ran out of there. We left with nothing.

Nepal earthquake_Sangita w kids_Aubrey Wade

Sangita Kafle holds her son *Nabin (3) standing beside her daughter *Anju (7) at the Tundikhel IDP camp in Kathmandu, Nepal. Photo; Aubrey Wade/Oxfam

“Now we have nowhere to live, that’s my biggest worry. The room we were renting is too dangerous to go back to and in my home village, all the homes belonging to my family are destroyed. They are sleeping on the road under blankets, with no shelter. It’s eight hours by bus away from here.

“My husband, my children, and I are sharing a tarpaulin shelter with 21 people. We borrowed money to pay for it. When we arrived there was nothing here, no facilities at all. Now we get some water distribution but nothing else.

“I returned home to collect the food I had and we were given some noodles by the army. But after tonight I’m not sure what I’m going to do. We will have no food left.

“It’s raining too and the inside of the shelter gets wet. We used a knife to dig a small trench around the outside but it’s not very deep and we don’t have proper tools, so the water easily gets inside.

“My brother-in-law and his wife are both in the hospital with injuries. So are their parents. I have other relatives there too so I go up and down each day to visit them, to try to arrange food and the medicines they need. My brother-in-law’s eldest daughter is staying with us here but their newborn (seven months old) died when the earthquake struck. Their home is completely collapsed.

“I don’t know how long we will be able to stay here but we will stay as long as they allow us to.”

Oxfam is on the ground and responding to families like Sagita’s. Nepal urgently needs donations for clean water, sanitation, shelter and other life saving emergency aid.