Rotary supports ShelterBox’s work in Nepal

Since the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that rocked Nepal on Saturday, 25 April, our Rotary connections in the country have been assisting ShelterBox with essential information and logistics.

The ShelterBox operations team was first able to get a clear idea of the level of destruction when Ashish Chaulagain, who is a member of Rotary International’s youth programme Rotaract, got in touch to explain situation in the capital of Kathmandu.

Ashish said: ‘The situation is that the environment is filled with fear. Still there is an expectation of more tremors and the weather forecast has also said to be alert. There is much damage in Kathmandu. Emergency relief is required that is for sure.’

The speed of information helped to inform ShelterBox’s decision to send an assessment team, made up of Phil Duloy (UK) and Nicola Hinds (UK) to the city.

The team arrived yesterday afternoon and were met by local Rotarians, who were able to give them a full brief of the current situation.

Phil said: ‘We have had a huge amount of help from Rotary groups so far. They have been taking part in search and rescue teams, debris clearance and facilitating bringing aid into the city, so they have been able to give us an insight into the type of aid that is needed.’

ShelterBox is sending an initial 500 shelter kits to Kathmandu to help provide shelter to the thousands of people who have been sleeping on the streets, despite the plummeting temperatures and thunderstorms. The shelter kits can be used in a variety of ways to help repair structures and create temporary shelters.

Local Rotarians will be further assisting ShelterBox by acting as consignee for the shelter kits, helping to import the aid into the country and take responsibility for it as it goes through customs.

The global network of Rotary clubs has been important to ShelterBox since it was formed in 2000. It was first adopted as the millennium project of the local Rotary Club of Helston-Lizard and in 2012 became Rotary International’s first project partner.

As our response in Nepal demonstrates, the partnership offers opportunities to collaborate and combine resources with Rotary clubs around the world to quickly provide emergency shelter for people affected by disasters and humanitarian crises.