Monday, May 11, 2015

The Cost of it All

How do we rebuild? what will work? what its important? where do we start?

Last week was tough for the team, heat, exhaustion and torrential rain hindered our efficiency. Not only that but we are all struggling to come to terms with how to deal with the enormity of the task at hand...we are not earthquake rescue experts...mostly just people trying to help. We are all learning by doing, by networking and by sharing.
Providing the people with food and medical needs was the easy part. Now we must start the huge task of getting people shelter.

Here is the information we have collected so far from the Sikhra Besi Zone. We are working village by village and this time around have taken food coupons to help with food distribution. We plan to distribute food ration every 2 weeks to each household with VDC's(Village Development Committees) on a rotation pattern as our transport load is 4 tonne.

A Standard Ration to feed a family of 5(Average) is:-
15kg Rice
2kg Dhal 
2kg Soya Product
1kg Salt
1lt Oil

Initially, with our first distribution most households  also got Tarps, rope, medical aid and Pius (Water Purification) where needed on top of food rations.

(The village has some items to supplement like Maize Flour, Potatoes, Ghundruk(Dried Spinach), Milk and Eggs which they are producing themselves).

VDC 5 (64 houses)  & VDC 6 (143 houses) – near to base camp: Aid status - Medical Stable (Evacs provided on the 10th May but Bhutanese Helicopters) Food will be rationed today (11th May)
VDC 7 – (70 houses): Aid status – Supplied two weeks as of 01/05/15 . Medical Need Stable ( 2 people need evacuation but are refusing)
VDC  8 – (115 houses): Aid status – Supplied two weeks as of 08/05/15. Medical Need Stable  
VDC 9 – (87 houses):  Aid status – Supplied two weeks as of 04/05/15. Medical Need Stable
VDC 3 & 4 We will be assessing this week as they are very remote
VDC 2 & 1 Have good road access and are deemed Ok at the moment. CARNN organization has given food assistance here last week. 

Just for food it costs us around USD$2000 per trip to the village, which includes 2 weeks supply of food, vehicle costs and local expenses.
We estimate we need to make 5 trips a month which is a total cost of US$15,000 just to supply food.

If you are wondering what your generous donations provide here is a break down of how little money it costs to supplement a family for two weeks.

30 kg of Rice – 1200NPR (US$12)
4 kg of Dhal - 85NPR per kg (US$3.40)
1kg of Salt -18NPR (US$.18)
1lt of Oil - 1150NPR per 10 liters (US$1.15)
2kg of Soy Product 60NPR Per Kg (US$1.20)

Total Outlay per household: US$17.50. So even a donations of US$20 will feed a family for two weeks...

We estimate that we will need to support the village with food for the next 6 months. We are working on the hope that our supply will overtime decrease and their local production will increase eventually returning the village back to its self sufficient state.

Rebuilding is a huge task and to be frank, something we can never afford on this extent. So how are we helping? (Project Shelter commences from Today -11th May)
- Providing Materials and Manpower to create Semi Permanent Shelters sufficient for the coming monsoon and winter
- Helping to make the area safe and to Salvage what we can use
- Advising and Assisting with the Construction of toilets and sanitation.
- Helping the villagers to be aware of what monetary assistance the Government will give them and helping them to apply for such funds(Villagers are very uneducated and the Government is not being very forthcoming to rural areas...Money is there, we need to help the villagers to get it).

We also do plan to fund total rebuilding of the Schools in the area and extra things like proper toilets, Solar Energy and Environmental Sustainability making the village better and more efficient than before. To be able to do this we will need long term funding and the right connections and approvals from community groups, other aid organizations and of-course the Politicians of the area...Its a huge task...

The Entire NCRR Team would like to thank you all for your ongoing support and helping us to rebuild lives.

Rice and Supplies...its an endless job at the moment

Locals help out at base camp. Team work is essential.

This is what 4 tonne of rice and supplies looks like.

Handing out vital food at the local level. The gratitude of the locals is rewarding.
The NCRR Team

We plan to salvage beams and tin for rebuilding shelters.

Rajkumar helping with the distribution. We now have a coupon system to make it easier in the long term

Thank you so much for your Support.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Building Hope....Can we do it?

Last night we returned back to Kathmandu after our second visit to the village of Sihkar Besi. After our initial assessment we were able to take a lot more supplies this time and help a lot more people. But the story is still grim.

We hope this gives you more of an understanding of the work the NCRR team is doing.

Our experience working with the Tamang People (The ethnic group in the region) has been an overwhelming one. Although they have been profoundly affected due to the earthquake they are such thoughtful and caring people. While the NCRR team got to work the Tamang people did all they could to make us feel at home with what little they had left.

The sheer spirit of these people is an inspiration to us to continue helping them as much as we can, although their loss is overwhelming. It is very hard to comprehend what we are seeing visually and we have only scratched the surface in regard to how much aid these people need now and well into the future.

To date NO Government aid or assistance of any kind has reached this area. When we left yesterday a Bulldozer was at work clearing the debris caused by numerous landslides off the road. We hope when we return we will be able to drive straight to our base camp allowing us to be more efficient as currently we have to walk for some time to reach it.

Cyclist Roan Tamang, who was born in the region, is helping us coordinate with village development committees so that we are able to target areas that need it the most first and foremost. Without coordination from local committees we would be inundated with desperate people trying to take supplies causing utter chaos, making it practically impossible to assist. Now we can effectively distribute supplies.

During this aid operation we surveyed 9 villages in two VDC (Village Development Committee) zones. Our findings indicate that at least 99% of the houses in the area have been destroyed.


Shelter - 99% of the houses have been destroyed and are unsafe to live in.

Food - 80% of food supplies have been lost which will create a need for food support in the area for at least 6 months. 30% of livestock was also lost.

Medical - A lot of people (including the elderly and young children) who were in or around buildings have flesh wounds, with high risk of infection. We need to get a medical person and the right antibiotics out there ASAP.

Access - Road damage and landslides make it hard for us to reach the problem areas.

Khet Damage - A lot of the Khet (small plots of land used for growing wheat, rice and potatoes) have been damaged, while okay at the moment they will become very unstable in the approaching monsoon season.

Man Power - With most families still having to work in the field to secure their food source, there is little man power left to clean and rebuild.

The Harvest - The Fields are full of wheat ready for immediate harvest. The village man power is now focused on this urgent need to secure the vital food source and get it safely in storage.


Now we have a better picture of what is needed. We are re-stocking our supplies. We have secured two villages currently and will hit the third village with supplies tomorrow.

- Set up a base camp at the road head where we can keep a regular incoming of supplies.

- Get a doctor and medical supplies to base camp.

- Establishing our Base Camp as a resource centre for surrounding villages in need of aid and medical care alike.

- This afternoon we will send forward a scout team to assess the area and coordinate with the local people to prepare a name list ready for distribution when we return.

- Consult with building specialists so that we may educate the NCRR team in building hygienic lavatories and general buildings correctly.

We are so grateful for your support.

Please see the story of the Tamang People pictured below.

Photos by Santosh Rai

We can still smile. The Tamang People have touched our hearts.

The distribution of food...they lost 80% of their food stocks.

Many many children where injured as they stay near the house in the day time. When the quake struck the parents where in the field. If this happened at night time we think the entire village would of died! This child so far has had no medical attention.

"I lost my house, my buffalo, but still I have my family". A  fully grown buffalo producing milk is worth about US$1000 and can be the main source of income for a family

Around every corner our hearts broke....

Climbing through the rubble, devastation is everywhere as we hike up to the village.

Nothing will ever be the same for the young.

Here is Rajkumar, he is handing out a snack made of beaten rice and  dry noodles to the people before we make the 3 hours hike up the mountain to the village. They had to carry 30kg bags of rice.

10 days after the Earthquake Struck...this is the first sign that Government assistance is on its way!

Every single house looks like this or worse...where do we start? Can you imagine.

So much devastation. The rebuild will take years.

Sitting on a weeks supply of rice, an uncertain future looms.

This is the trail to the villages. Below is fields full of wheat that need to be harvested and stored safely right away.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Riders Return from Shikhar Besi

Again we wish to thank everyone for their kind donations. This is one of the many things NCRR are achieving as a result.

We have to date succeeded in getting supplies out to a heavily affected village that was not receiving any aid almost a week after the earthquake disaster.

The NCRR team have recently returned from their mission to Nuwakot, 100 kilometres to the north of Kathmandu. Their objective was to reach the village of Shikhar Besi, the birth home of one of Nepal's top cyclists, Buddhi Bahadhur Tamang, or ‘Roan’ to his friends.

This village, although only 100km away, took the riders 11 hours to reach due to badly damaged roads and general chaos as a result of the earthquake. After assessing the immediate damage the NCRR team noted 50 houses (almost 90%) of the village was reduced to rubble and some 500 people had been displaced. Many including the elderly and very young were in desperate need of food, shelter and medical aid.

NCRR member, Santosh, identified some major problems upon reaching the area. The roads were impassable due to the initial earthquake and heavy rains to follow. The team was forced to carry approximately 800 kilograms of supplies just over 20 kilometres to reach the main village. With the assistance of some villagers, team work prevailed and the aid items reached the village successfully.

Within the village we assessed the water supply, it is currently okay but the villagers have to walk some distance to get to it. The farming plots are damaged quite severely and most of the food reserves have been spoiled. Seasonable food stuffs such as maze are the only things left in storage undamaged. Some families have lost their livestock also.  

The village school was also brought to the ground and there is no nearby medical facility to Shikhar Besi. Those injured or in need of medical attention must walk approximately four hours to reach it. The village is totally isolated from support.

For now this village has been temporarily stabilized thanks to the NCRR team. However, this will be an ongoing project and we will need to continue funding this village, and many others like it, as the need for medical aid and reconstruction support continues for months, even years to come.

The young NCRR team have displayed great team work and empathy amongst this major disaster. We are very proud of them; we hope to keep supporting them, so that they can keep up this great work.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Farmers Loose Everything

There are so many sad stories pouring in.

Our main team comprising of Ajay, Santosh and the riders are currently on their way back from Nuwakot, so we will update you later this evening in regard.

Back in Kathmandu Valley today we rushed out to a nearby village that we use as part of our cycling routes. We heard a local family there was in desperate need of aid.

This particular family, among many others, is a farming family of four generations. Their house collapsed in the earthquake disaster last Saturday.  They have not only suffered the loss of their home but with it their entire livelihood, along with food stockpiles that would typically see them through until the next harvest. They are now homeless as a result.

We were able to supply the family with food and much needed shelter. Our hearts break for them and the many others affected by the disaster that are yet to receive aid. We are doing all that we can to get to as many people as possible and thank you for your help.

We also wish to thank Arun Bhai and Rajan Dai for doing such a great job today.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

A Local Story

What we are doing with your money: 

While our main team is in Nuwakot, today we have organized a small team to help local families in need.

Pictured below, in the yellow t-shirt, is Ram Tamang. This morning we got a phone call from his sister who works for Paddle Nepal, a large rafting company, who are doing huge things for earthquake relief. Ram’s sister was unable to get to her brother and badly wanted to help him.

He lives with eight family members including small children. Not being a local to Bungamati the people there were not helping him. They had no money, no food and were sleeping in a chicken shed.

Ram is a Thangka artist; many businesses in Thamel have acquired his art on credit only and are refusing to pay him now. Currently there is no market for Thangka's but as soon as the next tourist season arrives in September he will again be able to support himself and his family.

This is one of the million heartbreaking stories happening right now in Nepal...At least he and his family will be okay now for a few weeks as NCRR have managed to give them some food and assistance today.

Pictured with Ram Tamang is NCRR member Rajan Karki.

Help is on The Way

NCRR are currently making their way to a village in Nuwakot - Shikar Besi. This is home of Nepal National Cyclist, Roan Tamang, where it is known to have approximately 70 houses destroyed in the recent earthquake disaster.  500 to 600 people have been displaced and have no way of receiving these basic forms of aid.
Please help NCRR reach further and spare a donation to assists the forgotten.
Global bank will withhold all international transfer fees.

Loaded up and on the way to Sikharbesi

Collection of food and supplies to take to areas in need
Bank details: (Nepal Bank)
Account numbers: 0901010000117.
Account name: Himalayan Single Track.
Branch: Thamel.
Bank-Global IME Bank.
Swift code: GLBBNPKA
Chaksibari Chowk, Thamel, Kathmandu-29
Phone No: 4701327, 4701323
Fax No: 4700171

Keep in mind NCRR are not an NGO, we are a self-organised team, we have no administration fees and 100% of every donation received goes toward our ride and rescue efforts to assist remote villages affected by the earthquake.