Two months after the massive earthquake which struck on 25 April, Nepal is still shaken and unstable, but those who survived are starting to look to the future with hope, Fr Louis Prakash, SJ, Director of programs at the Nepal Jesuit Social Institute in Kathmandu said yesterday.
"The earthquake left behind a trail of death and destruction," Fr Prakash said. About 8,000 people were killed and nearly 14,000 injured. "People were terrified and totally destabilized. But the Nepalese have begun to recover from the shock and to reorganize their lives. This occurs regardless of the fact that the seismic shocks continue to take place in various parts of Nepal," he said.
"People are surrounded by rubble and have started to collect everything possible to create temporary shelters. Many Nepalis working abroad have returned home to help rebuild the country," he said.
Over 330 humanitarian agencies, including Caritas, are working in 51 districts, engaged in more than 2,200 aid projects, providing food, water, health care, post-trauma counseling and temporary housing".
The efforts of NGOs are added to those of the government which distributed special "coupons" to homeless people, allowing them to buy construction materials to build temporary shelters. According to recent reports, Fr Prakash said, the earthquake completely destroyed 480,000 houses and partially damaged 260,000. The National Disaster Management has sent inspection teams to several affect'd districts to assess the distribution of aid and reconstruction.
The Council of Ministers has set up a 'National Consultative Committee on reconstruction" to draw plans to revive the economy and rebuild the damaged houses and other infrastructures.
"The joint effort of solidarity between institutions, international agencies and civil societies is bearing the fruit of hope" Fr Prakash concluded.
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