Graeme's Message, 14 May 2015

Dear Rotarians and friends,

On April the 25th Nepal was devasted by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake that has resulted in the loss of at least 7,500 people and caused untold injuries. Early reports suggest that around 600,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed and in some villages/towns up to 90% of buildings have been affected. Water and food shortages are a major issue.

It will not surprise you that Rotary is there helping. RI President Gary C.K. Huang has said "As we mourn the thousands of lives lost, Rotary joins other international agencies in providing immediate relief to survivors and mobilizing our expertise to support long-term recovery and rebuilding efforts throughout the country."

Rotary District 3292 in Nepal set up a disaster relief fund to help victims in the hardest hit areas. Immediate funds will go towards food, water, medical supplies, and shelter. 

Rotary partner Shelterbox is sending a response team to the affected areas and has worked around the clock to transport aid into Nepal. An initial 500 tents and shelter kits have now arrived in Nepal. One of their kits typically includes a disaster relief tent for a family, thermal blankets and groundsheets, water storage and purification equipment, solar lamps, cooking utensils, a basic tool kit, mosquito nets and children’s activity pack.

In 2012, Shelterbox became Rotary International's first project partner. This partnership offers opportunities to collaborate and combine resources to provide emergency shelter and lifesaving supplies for families around the world who are affected by disasters and humanitarian crises. Rotarians assist with logistical support, translators and local knowledge. 

The Rotary Club of Kathmandu was chartered in April, 1959 and initially linked to a District in India. There are now 87 clubs in Nepal and one in Bhutan and since July 2008 have formed District 3292, with a membership of around 2700.

Yet another great example of Rotary in action!