Oxfam is gearing up to deliver clean water and sanitation to thousands. Some 30,000 people are currently living in makeshift shelters in 16 government camp locations, too scared to return to their homes for fear of the aftershocks.
Cecilia Keizer, Oxfam country director in Nepal said: "We are still facing a lot of aftershocks; the last was a 6.8 of the Richter scale this afternoon. Thousands will have to face another night outside”.
But the aftershocks and the damage to roads and infrastructure are making it extremely difficult to reach out to communities outside of the Nepalese capital. Telephone lines are down and the electricity and water supplies have been damaged. The number of people killed is continuing to rise; people need immediate access to adequate safe water, and sanitation facilities and food assistance and for Oxfam this is a top priority.
Ms Keizer says: “We are managing to reach out to people in Kathmandu, but it is extremely difficult to provide support on a larger scale to the most affected areas - a lot of the main roads have been damaged. Our staff are still checking on their families and the partners we work with. At the moment, all the death count reports are coming from Kathmandu Valley. Sadly, I fear that this is only the beginning”.
In Kathmandu valley, of the 16 camp locations identified by the government, 9 are in Kathmandu, 4 in Lalitpur and 3 in Bhaktapur. Oxfam is working with UNICEF and will start building its first sanitation facilities in Tudikhel in Bhaktapur tomorrow, serving 1500- 2000 people in this location alone. Tomorrow, Oxfam will also be completing its assessments in the Lalitpur camp.
Zubin Zaman, Oxfam India Deputy Director, said: “Our priority is to ensure that people affected have adequate humanitarian assistance and we are able to prevent secondary disasters, including outbreak of disease by providing safe water and critical sanitation support. Hundreds of thousands of displaced people need urgent humanitarian assistance now - including children and women who are forced to be out in the open, huddled in groups with no food, safe water, or shelter.”
Oxfam is organizing its response from India, Thailand and the UK. A team of technical experts are flying from the UK with supplies to provide clean water, sanitation and emergency food supplies.
People can donate to Oxfam's response online at https://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/nepal-earthquake