24 April 2017 – Mercy Relief, Singapore’s leading independent disaster relief agency, marks the two-year anniversary of the 2015 Nepal Earthquake on 25 April. Today, Mercy Relief presented to ambassadors and the media, a summary of its humanitarian efforts on-the-ground and latest updates from its ongoing programmes in the districts of Nuwakot, Sindhupalchok and Kathmandu.
Since November 2016, Mercy Relief has been focusing its efforts on supporting the reconstruction of 20 earthquake resilient classrooms across three schools. The team has been collaborating with ground partners to provide almost 400 students with new premises to study in, after tremors destroyed most of the schools’ infrastructure. The team also conducted water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programmes at these premises to promote good hygiene management.
Once completed, the Chyandanda Basic School, Shree Sundara Devi Basic School and the Fulpingkot Secondary School, will also be used as community evacuation centres to protect students and others, in the event of future disasters.
Aside from the ongoing project with the schools, Mercy Relief also organised training sessions for 65 survivors to acquire masonry skills. To date, these masons have constructed 117 homes using local materials in compliance with the nation’s building codes. They also shared their new knowledge, skills and importance of building resilient structures with their communities.
Through prior on-the-ground experience, Mercy Relief identified the need for disaster preparedness amongst the local communities. The team, with ground partners, developed Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) media training to educate popular radio stations on how to disseminate emergency information to the masses in a timely and effective manner during disasters.
Executive Director at Mercy Relief, Tingjun Zhang said, “Moving forward, we want to focus on skills training and capacity building to help farming communities increase productivity and generate more income. We will also be promoting Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) to better prepare local farmers in adapting to climate changes like prolonged monsoon seasons and droughts.”
Approximately 8.1 million people were affected with nearly 9,000 fatalities reported and about 18,000 injured. The first earthquake, with a magnitude of 7.8 struck on 25 April 2015; Mercy Relief deployed a team to respond within 48 hours, conducting relief distribution operations and medical missions. With the support of partners and donors, Mercy Relief raised S$1.5 million implementing programmes benefiting over 26,000 survivors to date.