Nepal (MNN) – With a new constitution, political infighting, and an economy rocked by a recently ended blockade of the country’s most-used boarder crossing, Nepal faces an uphill battle to rebuild after the 2015 earthquake.
The country’s non-government aid agencies are trying to help those who just
want their homes back. Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) and the helicopter contractors they use have delivered tons of material to villages in remote, but not always distant, locations.
One village was only about a mile and a half from a paved highway, said MAF program manager for Nepal, Stan Unruh. The British Aid program Light Rotary Support Project (LRSP) worked with MAF to help.
“We flew hundreds of thousands of kilos of freight up one particular valley that was an eight or nine-minute flight. That was a two-day trek up there with a mule train. There’s no road up there,” Unruh said.
A village seven hours walk from the road, had its water supply severed during last year’s earthquake.
“It dried up their water supply and this aid agency we are working with, asked us to fly in this two-and-a-half inch water pipe. We flew this water pipe in over two hours, just flying a helicopter over the valley, about a two-minute flight one way. If they had had to carry it in on foot, they would have had to cut the water pipe into manageable sections and carried it seven hours to their village,” he said. “It would have taken them weeks to get all the water pipe to their village.”
While there are still hundreds of families living in temporary shelters, MAF’s partners are temporarily without the funding to continue helicopter support.
However, Unruh is working on a five-year plan that, if approved by the Nepali government, will allow for helicopter use in the remote western Nepal.
“There are a number of projects we’d like to work with the government on,” he said. “In the far west region of Nepal, the transportation options are limited. Mostly there are very bad roads to a few communities and then it is air transport to the rest. Development organizations have been pleading with MAF to see if we can get government approval to assist with transportation in the western region of Nepal.”
Unruh would also appreciate prayers for those who are still trying to rebuild after the 2015 earthquake in Nepal; and for the agencies working to help them.