Salesians and volunteers in Kathmandu continue to bring help to the people in need. But the difficulties are numerous… Fr George Menamparampil, Director of the “Bosconet” Mission Office, speaks about it.
Ipa is a village in Makawanpur district, 70 km from Thecho where we have the base for our earthquake operations in Nepal. The first 50 km are black-topped (tarred / bitumen) and reaches you to Sisneri. The rest is a narrow mud road.
On 4 June two regular trucks set out with 930 bags of rice and some dal (lentils), oil, salt and soap. Each truck had about 5.5 tons of material. Loading started in the morning and was completed only by noon as all the work was done manually and not with forklifts. They trucks left for Ipa at about noon under the guidance of Mr. Purna Kumar Dangol, a teacher in Don Bosco, a capable, experienced and trustworthy volunteer for our relief work.
The original intention was to take these trucks up to Sisneri (50 km). By 4.00 pm they reached Pharping, 15 km before that village (nearly 4 hours for 35 km!). The two truck drivers refused to go further. Their complaint was that, though the road is blacktopped, it is steep, narrow and with very sharp bends round the hills. They could not safely take the turns.
Our local partner in Pharping wanted us to unload the trucks and return home. He would store the material in his relative’s house, and he would see to the distribution. Purna’s experience with this type of “partners” did not allow him to follow this advice. He went to the local police station where he was promised all help.
They hired a local bus and four mini-trucks. They unloaded the larger trucks and transferred all the goods to the bus and trucks. The bus took on 120 bags of rice and the four trucks a 100 bags each. Purna left two of his accompanying team in Pharping to guard the remaining material with the help of the local police.
Three of the four trucks were strong enough to go on, direct to Ipa. The bus and one truck could not go beyond Sisneri. Purna split his team again in two and sent one to accompany the three trucks to Ipa. He stayed the night at Sisneri with the material from the bus and one truck.
The next morning the three min-trucks returned from Ipa to reload with the remaining stock at Sisneri and reach it to the final destination. The distribution completed in Ipa, they could finally return home.
70 km. 11 tons of material. 7 vehicles, three of them doing a double trip. A two-day operation. And this is in villages that can be reached by road. Imagine the villages in the hills where there are no roads at all.
“This is just to give you a little insight into just one of the challenges facing the Don Bosco team in Nepal” says a Salesian involved in Nepal operations.
If you would like to help and make a donation for Nepal please forward your cheque or postal order with description “FOR NEPAL” to: Fr Dan Devitt SDB
P.O. Box 50,
If you would like to help and make a donation for Nepal please forward your cheque or postal order with description “FOR NEPAL” to:
Fr Dan Devitt SDB