Nepal Appeal, May 2015
As demonstrated by April’s devastating earthquake, Nepal is afflicted by more than its fair share of natural hazards. International aid agencies have long recognized that Kathmandu is the most at risk urban population on the planet due to the earthquake risk. For firefighters across Nepal, working with obsolete vehicles and equipment is the norm.
As demonstrated by April’s devastating earthquake, Nepal is afflicted by more than its fair share of natural hazards. International aid agencies have long recognized that Kathmandu is the most at risk urban population on the planet due to the earthquake risk. For firefighters in Kathmandu and across Nepal, working with obsolete vehicles and equipment is the norm – if there is any equipment at all.
In many municipalities the complete absence of a fire service response has resulted in army and police forces demolishing unaffected properties in the vicinity of a fire to form a firebreak.
Where there is fire cover the congested narrow streets make just getting to a fire challenging – let alone securing a water supply. Add to that the stock of ancient timber and brick buildings and open fires the potential for fire spread is high. By any standards firefighting in Nepal is tough.
Since 2010, John Monaghan of Devon and Somerset FRS has co-ordinated a number of donations of firefighting vehicles, equipment and protective personal equipment to firefighters throughout Nepal. Basic firefighting and rescue training courses have been run for firefighters from across Nepal in association with the United Nations Development Programme.
With the support of the UK based Rotarians in Wirksworth disaster response centres across Nepal were donated ‘Aquabox’ disaster relief kits capable of accommodating a family of five with shelter, cooking utensils and clean filtered drinking water.More than twenty spine boards and scoop stretchers were also distributed. Most recently 600 more ‘Aquabox’ kits arrived in Kathmandu in March 2015 for distribution to disaster relief centres – just six weeks before the earthquake on Saturday April 25th.
A further 600 ‘Aquabox’ kits and 200 community safe water pumps and filters have been donated and have been offered to the UK’s Department for International Development for onward transfer to Nepal.
Please consider making a donation to the Disasters Emergency Committee ‘Nepal Earthquake Appeal’ fund via their website www.dec.org.uk.
FBU members will be raising money at this year’s Glastonbury festival, as part of the trade union affiliated Leftfield area, for firefighter colleagues and disaster relief projects in Nepal.
If you would like support this vital work please contact John directly: email@example.com.