Islamic Help blog from Nepal 6th May, 2015
Islamic Help’s campaigns manager Toyris Miah is in Nepal helping deliver aid to earthquake victims.
This is the second of his blogs from the country.
Emergency Aid being distributed in Nepal
“As the day broke, we prepared for an early start and set off for Gorkha at 7am. It was an 8 hour drive and we wanted to ensure we got there in time as we didn’t want to lose the daylight.
Gorkha is in the mountains and can be reached by either foot or a powerful off-road vehicle. It’s difficult for helicopters to land there to drop off relief aid.
As we embarked on our journey to Gorkha, we were making good time and reached a point known as ‘12 kilo’ by the locals. This is where we ran into some trouble.
Up to this point the road is paved and easy to drive on. Our truck driver who we had hired for the day had no issues reaching 12 kilo. However he wasn’t prepared to drive beyond this point and refused to go any further. We had to find another vehicle large enough and strong enough to transport our goods to Gorkha.
After 3 hours of consulting and searching we found a bus driver who was available and willing to drive his bus with our relief packs on it to Gorkha. Locals who were around us at the time heard of what was happening and instantly helped to transport the goods from one vehicle to another.
From this point on, the road was completely uneven. There were no barriers to stop cars going over the edge of a cliff should something happen and there was only one lane so expert driving from someone who knows the area well were needed.
I thank Allah that He provided us with a brilliant team of drivers who were able to manoeuvre their way around the mountain, through rivers and running streams and the craziest terrain I’ve ever gone through.
Once we reached the end of the road, the villagers were all waiting for us and greeted us with relief, that’s the only way I can describe it. The look on their faces was of anticipation and relief; it was difficult to hold back tears when seeing the men and women teary-eyed because someone had come to support them.
The villagers all congregated and allowed Kisan from TMT and myself on behalf of Islamic Help to say a few words to them all. I told them how the community in the UK, the Islamic Help volunteers and donors, would not forget them and would help however they could. It was something they appreciated, this simple knowledge that people around the world were rallying together to help them was uplifting in this time of sadness and need.
The TMT group had collated a register of houses from the village in Gorkha, they started to call this out and the representatives of each household formed an orderly queue. No one pushed, no one shoved, everyone waited patiently to receive the aid.
When we showed the families what they would be receiving, they were genuinely grateful. After waiting for so long for essentials like food, clothes and shelter, they constantly thanked us for the relief aid we were delivering.
The amazing thing to witness was when some people said they didn’t require part of the relief packs because they already had that particular item and it should be given to someone who didn’t have it. At a time of desperation, to see people who have lost everything be honest and genuine for the sake of their neighbours is a truly beautiful gesture and an admirable one.
The drive to Ghorka during daylight hours was difficult enough, but driving back to our base at night was even trickier. As we drove, I could see tiny lights shining from the mountains around us. They were all homes and in the night they all looked like stars.
There are many more families in Ghorka who urgently need our help. Access to the area is limited and search and rescue teams have still not been able to start the hunt for survivors in some parts where homes have collapsed.”