Wanted to share my experience with helping locals I knew personally in Sindhupalchok with you. I know that there are many efforts like this conducted by organizations like AYON and individually through informal groups and relatives abroad are sending funds to their relatives in affected areas. Apart from the “formal institutional relief” these are the many avenues of relief and it can be disorganized and unaccountable, but they are also fast and its already been 6 days where many places have received no relief at all. People in Dolakha, demolished government property in district headquarters Charikot recently demanding relief. I am sharing my experience working with locals from Badegaun-4, Sindhupalchok. They were here in Kathmandu to get help and I was able to provide them funding personally and will be reimbursed by funding that my boss is raising in Indonesia. We had done research in this area a year ago so I knew the area pretty well.
Things to remember while sending relief to rural areas of Nepal at the moment:
1) Medical teams should take food as the number one priority. (Our team made up of locals took oil, salt, chiura, dalmoot, rice, noodles) Medicine is important but for people who are hungry for some days it can seem like a big joke. It could also be different based on the local context. In the place I coordinated help there were less injuries and more damage to houses. Deaths were there but apart from that people were not injured much.
2) Diesel can also be useful aid because people have grains that they were able to save and can grind it in their mills, if it is available. In some areas however there are electric mills or the mills itself are demolished.
3) There was a lot of livestock dead in the area I supported and this must be true of all rural districts. So sending black phenol, phitkiri, dettol, chuna is very very important because some of the livestock cannot be retrieved for burial and it can give rise to disease if not sanitized. Phitkiri is useful because it quickens the composting process. Especially with rain things can take a worse turn.
4) I don’t know if Piyush is enough. A medical store owner said that Piyush is not enough, that people need to boil water at all possible times. In rural areas this is not that hard. Fuelwood is available in most places. Boiling water means Piyush may not be as important. But I am not an expert on this. Soap is important but if not ash can be an alternative.
5) The local people I coordinated with thought that tripaal (plastic tents) was low priority relative to food, medicine to sanitize dead livestock, and medicine for injuries. They have taken the tin roofs from their demolished houses and used that as makeshift shelter for now. People are really resourceful and have used a lot of innovative ways to make do. Food is a real priority ( I have heard this even in Lamjung, where ppl havent received any help yet, although just today at around 1 Illampokhari, Lamjung locals received some relief in a tractor, that was a nice to know after so many news of no relief, they of course didnt know where the relief came from but we can track it down.)
Hope this experience sharing will be helpful to others coordinating similar relief efforts. For some of you it may be redundant but do spread the word.