Nepal Relief Update 5/3/16


 

To date, Bodhivastu Foundation and its partner organization, the Himalayan Light Foundation, have mobilized $77,000 into the field as part of it's disaster relief initiative. Over the past several months Bodhivastu and HLF have shifted their humanitarian focus in Nepal from emergency first response disaster relief to more long term projects including it's Solar Powered Ozone Water Treatment Systems (SPOWTS™) program in remote villages. A single SPOWTS system can provide upwards of 500 liters of clean drinking water per day, enough for all villagers who would otherwise not have access to clean drinking water.

Recently, with donations received through Bodhivastu Foundation and also support from The Trojan Battery company in USA, HLF has installed two SPOWTS systems with more locations being identified for future installations. The most recent installations focused on a community center in the village of Ramechaap as well as the Muna Devi School in the village of Pasavar. Please see the photos galleries below for both completed projects.

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Muna Devi School of Pasavar


One SPOWTS system was installed at Shree Muni Devi Secondary School of Pasavar Village. The school has 170 students and teachers. The children were very happy with the SPOWTS system at their school and now they are able to drink clean ozonated water anytime in the school. It took 45 minutes to purify 200 liters of water at the school. All the teachers and school children tested the water. An agreement was signed between Lotus Energy and the School management committee for the timely maintenance of the water treatment system so that they will have access to clean water many years into the future.

 

Fedi Village of Ramechaap


We have recently completed a SPOWTS project in the Ramechaap district. One SPOWTS system was installed at a newly constructed community building with the support from five Australian volunteers through HLF Solar Sisters program in January 2016. They traveled to Fedi Village of Ramechaap with HLF representatives and inaugurated the community building with the Fedi villagers.

Read More >>
 

We have installed one SPOWTS system in the building as per our plan so that the villagers of Fedi can drink clean ozonated water and can be saved from various water borne dieses. To install the system two technicians from Lotus Energy and one HLF representative was sent to village who completed the installation as well provided basic hands on training on handling of SPOWTS system to the village committee. The technical group ozonated the regular water that the villagers used to drink which took 30 minutes to ozone 200 liters of water. The group along with villagers tested the first ozonated water in the village. The villagers are so happy with the support. Now they have one new community building with complete solar lights and a SPOWTS system. This the greatest gift we can ever offer to any community with such a complete package. 

 
 

Nepal Relief Update 6/10/15

To date Bodhivastu Foundation has delivered and distributed over $35,000 worth of supplies to Nepal villages in the form of shelter, food, medical supplies and other essential items. The efforts of Bodhivastu and the Himalayan Light Foundation team, affiliate partners and local Nepal groups as well as the generous donors who have supported our work have provided lifesaving materials for over 700 Nepalese families, roughly 4,000 people.

If it wasn't for the relief aid of small NGO's like Bodhivastu and the Himalayan Light Foundation, and others most of these areas would have otherwise received no other support in the first several weeks of this immense natural disaster.

We will continue to support villages with a lasting presence in Nepal and the rehabilitation of its communities and national heritage sites. We are continuing to provide essential supplies and shelter to desperate communities and we are now planning the implementation of Solar Powered Ozone Water Treatment Systems (SPOWTS) in remote village communities and schools. We are also currently working on logistic development for the reconstruction of several remote schools. 

Bodhivastu's HRI Program has begun work to support several heritage site reconstructions including Sankhu, to restore Vajrayogini / Ugra Tara (Ajima), Boudhanath, and Swayambunath temple areas.

Recent Distributions

Village of Ramechaap, Duragaun  May 26th, 2015

We have successfully completed the first round of tent distribution in Dura Village of Ramechaap district on May 26th, 2015 in collaboration with "The Himalayan Indigenous Society (HIS-Nepal)".  HLF and the Himalayan Indigenous Society (HIS-Nepal) team traveled  to Dura Village and distributed 295 tents. 

 
 

Upper Sankhu May 30th, 2015

Bodhivastu and HLF distributed tin roofing to 180 families above the town of Sankhu Vajrayogini on May 30th. This material is vital to make temporary shelters that can withstand the intense weather conditions of the monsoon season.
 

 
 

Tso-Gyal-Ge-Phel-Jong - June 2015
Bodhivastu and HLF assistant Gori Lama, (pictured in the bottom left and right images), distributed tents in two distribution days to several seniors who are spiritual retreatants at Tsogyal Ge Phel Jong senior living center.  This senior retreat center was established by Tharchin Rinpoche, (see photo of Lama Tharchin and family taken by Lama Rangbar circa 1990).  6 tents were distributed as an initial assistance while work began to assess the longer term needs.  Buildings are cracked and an engineer's opinion is necessary.  Bodhivastu and HLF plan a second round of assistance later this month or by early July.

 
 
 
 

Continue to Support the People of Nepal

 
 

 

Nepal Relief Major Update: 05/21/15

I: Overview of the Situation in Nepal

Over three weeks have passed since the initial disaster struck the Kingdom of Nepal. The Nepalese have endured an unimaginable amount of suffering and hardship. As desperation and challenges mount, the story of Nepal's tragedy is falling out of media headlines. Many organizations are removing their aid teams exactly when more help is needed than ever before.

Tourism, has almost come to a standstill and a majority of affected people must relay on the support of organizations for food and shelter until sustainable infrastructure can be established. Most of the total affected population are still sleeping outside without proper shelter, if any.

The extreme weather conditions of the monsoon are approaching quickly causing and illness and disease may increase substantially. Providing proper shelter and clean water are our current priorities.

Statistics:

  • 3 more major earthquakes (above 5.0) and over 200 substantial aftershocks have hit Nepal, the latter of which still continue to this day. 
  • The toll has surpassed 8,500 people with over 20,000 reported injured. 
  • Over 700,000 homes and other structures vital to everyday life, wellbeing and livelihood of the Nepalese, have been reduced to rubble and dirt leaving an estimated 2.8 million people displaced and many still in desperate need of aid at the latest count.
     

II: Some of HLF and Bodhivastu's Accomplishments

We have raised over $60,000 for the humanitarian portion of our response Donations coming in from 36 U.S. states and and over 24 countries.

Bodhivastu and The Himalayan Light Foundation (our local Nepal sister organization) has now mobilized over $22,000 worth of emergency supplies into the field in the form of food, shelter, medical supplies and attention, and other essentials. HLF Nepal has provided this aid to three regions including several remote areas.  Our resources are being distributed between several teams to help as many villages as we are able.

With our continued work alongside the JICA Alumni association we are providing aid to upper Sankhu areas and surrounding villages. As food and essential items are being delivered and distributed according to the needs of the areas we are reaching, our latest order of metal roofing will be arriving soon in time for the rain season to provide stable shelter for over 120 families.

With the ongoing help of the Helambu Relief Distribution Centre we were able to serve remote villages in the Helambu (Yolmo) Region. More details below.
 

Helambu Region

Report of aid outreach as of May 16th

Our HLF coordinators worked closely with a team of dedicated volunteer service providers from the Helambu Relief Distribution Centre to bring aid to around 9 remote villages in the Helambu Region who would otherwise receive little to no aid due to their remoteness. Our funds brought into the field have been helping to fill supply runs between Kathmandu and these remote areas.  We are facing major landslides and closed roads.

  • 3,000 people (about 500 families) have received aid with the help of HLF and funds raised by Bodhivastu in the following areas.

    Milamchim Gyang (450*)
    Nakote Gaun (250*) 
    Nyima Dompo (200*)
    Tarke Gyang/Dupedong (120*)
    Dupkhang, Milarepa Cave Area (200*)
    Gangyul (150*) 
    Timbu (400*)
    Sermathang Kiul (400*)
    Shongonche, Chhumik (350*)


    *total population

  • 100% of the buildings were destroyed in 7 out of 9 of the above towns, leaving the entire population homeless
  • Supplies has been distributed in the form of:

    -Shelter: Tents, tarps, metal roofing, and additional tools and materials to construct temporary housing.

-Food stuffs and cooking supplies: Rice, Dahl, Noodles, Potatoes, Flower and other essential food and supplies

-Medical supplies: Also utilized by medics working alongside the Helambu Relief Distribution Centre  

-Hygeine products and other essential items

Lalitpur District

Report from recent distribution with JICA Alumni

  • This round of relief supplies were distributed in Lalitpur, Lele VDC Ward no. 4, Saurya Gaun and Ward no. 7 Rana Gaun
  •  56 Families were supplied essentials including rice, cooking oil, salt, tents and sleeping mats
  • The supplies were distributed by our HLF Nepal representative Ms. Shanti Laxmi Shakya (pictured bottom left), Treasurer of Himalayan Light Foundation/Nepal and Secretary of JICA Alumni Association/ Nepal with other JICA Alumni members.

Both Bodhivastu Foundation and Himalayan Light Foundation are now turning our focus towards Solar Power Ozone Water Treatment Systems, (SPOWTS), monsoon shelters, school rebuilding and small solar lighting systems.  Please remember that the Nepalese need your continued support.
HLF cares about its family, friends and companions, devastated by the recent events. We are committed to the long term reconstruction of Nepal and we ask that you continue supporting all efforts to provide relief to this ailing nation, especially to the organizations who will be remaining in the country long term.
 
 
 

Nepal Relief Update: 05/10/15

The following is a brief bullet update. A more extensive update will be available in the next few days.

Constructing stable Shelter in Drupandrong with our team 1

Constructing stable Shelter in Drupandrong with our team 1

constructing stable shelter in drupadrong 2 with our team 2

constructing stable shelter in drupadrong 2 with our team 2

the remains of part of a temple 

the remains of part of a temple 

  • Relief focus has now expanded to include Drupadrong in the Yolmo area.
  • $2,000 worth of tents and tarps has been delivered to the area providing temporary shelter for many.
  • Arrangements are being made to deliver roofing sheets to brace for extremely heavy monsoon rains that the area is well known for.
     
  • 3 Tremors have been reported today all registering at 4.0 or above causing panic for an already fearful populace.
  • Reported death toll has surpassed 8,000
  • total reported injured around 17,000

Nepal Relief Update: Day 8

Your efforts are making a difference.

Yesterday alone 85 Families were fed at our emergency relief center in Sankhu Vajrayogini, totaling 510 people. Food stocks are building allowing for us to provide food to more and more people everyday.

Supply Lines are established allowing consistent transportation of essential supplies which are being distributed by the Bodhivastu Himalayan Light Foundation teams. Our team in Yolmo has grown to 30 and the Sankhu Emergency Relief Center is now staffing 14 people. We are now partnering with JICA and the Helambu Relief Distribution Team to increase our outreach and effectiveness in the field.

Part of the HLF and Helambu Relief distribution Team which is providing critical aid to the region

Part of the HLF and Helambu Relief distribution Team which is providing critical aid to the region

Planning meeting with members of HLF and Helambu teams

Planning meeting with members of HLF and Helambu teams

The local USA team of 9 volunteers is currently assessing and planning the second phase of our efforts in Nepal. We will not be leaving after the initial emergency aid is established, we are in for the long-haul.

Bodhivastu and HLF will continue for the long-term in Nepal to help provide solar power to remote villages
 and restore the now greatly damaged cultural and historic heritage.

The Issue:

We have 1 month before the monsoon season starts. What does this mean?

The heavy rains will pose a significant danger for over a million Nepalese without shelter. The conditions may cause disease outbreaks and serious illness. Without the proper shelters set up and medical personal to treat people this could be another severe crisis for the people of Nepal.

What is needed:
  • Tents and other temporary shelters
  • Medical supplies and more trained medical staff. We currently have 4 paramedics awaiting transport into Nepal.
  • Continued food supplies
  • Satellite phones
  • small solar energy systems to be distributed by HLF
SUman Lama, OUr Sankhu Relief Center Coordinator attending to the supply Depot

SUman Lama, OUr Sankhu Relief Center Coordinator attending to the supply Depot

One of the helambu (yolmo) stations

One of the helambu (yolmo) stations

Distribution and registration tent at the Sankhu Relief center.

Distribution and registration tent at the Sankhu Relief center.

Current Bullet Report as of 05/04/15

Death toll: Across Nepal over 7,000
Injured:  14,000 +
Aftershocks less frequent but have not yet ceased

  • We have established alliances with JICA and the Helambu Relief Distribution Team in the field
  • Relief centers are now established and fully functional in Sankhu Vajrayogini and Yolmo (Helambu).
  • Our Yolmo team has grown to 30 Volunteers (10 foreign, 20 local)
  • Our Sankhu Emergency Relief Center is now staffed by 14 people (4 staff and 10 local volunteers)
  • Supply lines are now well established and continual allowing for easy transportation of food and other supplies.
  • USA team now planning reconstruction initiative.
 

 
 

 

Nepal Relief Update: Day 6

1:00pm EST - 10:45pm Nepal time

In cooperation with the Himalayan Light Foundation, our efforts are currently focused on the town of Sankhu and the Yolmo area.

Communication has been established consistently with HLF (Himalayan Light Foundation) team on the ground and reports are coming in throughout the day from our HLF Program Manager Yadav Gurung, Babita Lama Rajbhandari, and Samun Lama, who is managing the relief camp in Sankhu.

Nepal Government Imposing Restrictions:

Currently the 
Nepal government has imposed a $500 daily limit to all bank withdrawals. We hope this will change soon as this slightly constricts the amount of resources we can provide on a daily basis. We are augmenting funds through other channels such as Western Union meanwhile.

Nepal police have been imposing some restrictions on distribution, but we are currently trying to ascertain the reason behind this and the extent of these restrictions.

Death and Injury Tolls:

Sankhu: 100+
Yolmo: currently unknown. 
Nepal Total: 
5,500 +
Total Injured: 13,000 +

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Pictured above, Babita (far left) and Sophie (far right) coordinating with other relief teams to supply resources to Yolmo

Latest Developments:


  1. Second round of funds transferred successfully via Western Union in KTM. Emergency food to be purchased and packed. Delivered to Yolmo area by tonight.
  2. HLF (Himalayan Light Foundation) is framing out a partnership with JICA (Japanese International Cooperation Agency) a large scale international organization.

  3. Alliance with Yolmo youth group established. Currently determining main distribution resource center in Yolmo. 
    This means a s
    upply line now established with consistent transportation of resources between Yolmo and KTM.
     
  4. 50 tents + 70 tarps being delivered to Yolmo area by youth group immediately.
     
  5. Relief camp established at our 3 acre compound in Sankhu Vajrayogini managed by team member Suman Lama.
    Some tents set up. Available but very limited food being cooked and rationed. (NOTE1,000 occupant capacity on Sankhu land) *More resources required to handle that volume of people
     
  6. Team of 4 paramedics coordinated in the USA awaiting proper ground intel and supplies for deployment. Will be assigned between the Sankhu relief camp and Yolmo
 

What We Need:


Please take these requests very seriously. With the proper resources and equipment we can begin to mobilize and provide critical resources to the starving, homeless and scared people of Nepal.

Critical Logistics:

1. (4) Satellite Phones

Cell phones have limited range and charges are hard to keep. We must be able to communicate clearly with our team of paramedics awaiting deployment and the HLF team currently on the ground.

2. Portable Solar Power Systems

Electricity is limited. Essential equipment needs to be powered and Solar electricity is one of the only options available. Can be provided by Lotus Energy and other companies locally.

Supplies:

1. Food

2. Tents

3. Medical Supplies

4. Petrol

 

 
 

 

Nepal Relief Update: Day 4

04/28/15 - 12:30pm EST

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Images taken by Dawa Lama, one of our correspondents in the Boudhanath, Kathmandu area (pictured above)

General
  • Death Toll surpasses 5,000
  • Heavy aftershocks are continual amounting to more than 130 upon last field report, some of which are registering at 5.0 and above
  • Some banks slowly opening
  • Main roads beginning to open where possible allowing for easier transportation of food and other resources
  • Some food suppliers starting to distribute urgent supplies.
Organization Updates
  • We have opened contact with food sources and made arrangements for some initial pickups for distribution to Yolmo and Sankhu.
  • Tents are erected in Sankhu center and water supply is operational
  • Planning is going on to determine means of transport to the sites.
  • Our 4 paramedics on hold until pathway from airport to Sankhu confirmed
  • Support for solar power satellite phones being sought to accompany the team
  • $5,000 wired to our Nepal account as a first wave and test of collection
  • Local Bodhivastu volunteer staffing increases to 8 in-office
  • Some basic requests of water, medicines and tents coming in from Boudhanath area for small groups with children.

Nepal Relief Update: Day 3

Day 3 11:15am

 Reports continue to come in from our ground staff and contacts in several places throughout the region.  

  • Bodhivastu will focus on the two areas, Yolmo and Sankhu. 
     
  • Arrangements are being made with the local food suppliers to prepare two packages to be sent by motorcycle to Sankhu and Melamchipul Bazar respectively as soon as the food supplier is able to open its doors.
     
  • Stores and banks are not opened yet but should be by tomorrow.  Some people are going back into buildings here and there but aftershocks continue to arise.  Buildings not destroyed have varying levels of damage making them fragile and susceptible to further or complete collapse in aftershocks.
  • Reports say that water is already becoming a problem in Boudhanath area.
     
  • Locally in Poughquag, NY, Bodhivastu Foundation has assembled a team of 8 staff manning phones and coordinating with Nepal on-the-ground individuals for mobilization of food, funds, shelter and manpower.
     
  • We have commenced communications with UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) in India and Nepal in order to gain their field support for resources

The following is a list of supplies and coordination efforts we will need to raise support for in the first rounds:

Logistics:

1. Chartering of helicopter runs to our emergency centers
2. Motor cycles and petrol to transport goods on the ground between Kathmandu and outlying reachable areas
3. Volunteer and additional staffing
4. Portable solar electric power system with lights and phone chargers (Lotus Energy and other companies locally)

Supplies:

1. Tents, mats and camping beds
2. Food kits and cooking ware
3. Blankets
4. First aid kits
5. (20) Water barrels and jugs
6. (4) Satellite Phones

Nepal Relief Update: Day 2

Day 2 - 9:45am

Dear Friends, community members and supporters,

Today communications have opened slightly and we have just spoken with our main project coordinator who is on the ground in an area called Basantapur and he is currently in an outside make shift shelter with many people.  Another one of our staff, Shyam K.C. is stationed in a place called Maharajgunj and all movement is severely limited.  Food supplies are already very minimal and all stores and petrol pumps remain closed.  There is no electricity and cell phone batteries are running low.

Donations can be made by our main processing called "stripe" secure payment service, or if you prefer to use Pay Pal this option is also available.

Until now, most people are stuck in their places as strong aftershocks up to and above one single strong one that registered 5.5,  still shake the people of Katmandu and surrounding areas prohibiting them from re-entering the buildings that are left standing. Those buildings which can provide shelter are also in varying states of damage and continue to pose the threat of collapse.  Crowds have all been informed by word of mouth that they can and should expect yet another huge tremor at any time.  Confusion runs high but we are preparing pathways to get in relief. 

 We are establishing our first emergency hostel camp in Sankhu area to provide food, fresh water and shelter to the villagers who have lost their homes and family members.  Luckily we have been able to provide some food already.  The roads are still more or less impassable as we attempt to bring resources into Sankhu which is only connected to the main parts of town by motorcycle at this stage but petrol is limited only to what they have in their tank.  Meanwhile, time is of the essence as we must do everything from our side to coordinate our support channels.  

Our reports indicate that in many village areas such as Kabre Palanchowk, that 98% of the village homes (typically made of bricks and mud mortar) are completely leveled to the ground. Many food sources are also buried or in structures that pose the threat of collapse and so the challenge of hunger will be mounting day by day as these and other  realities set in.  

 Our team expects that the situation will clear slightly within two more days but bear in mind that those of us here in the USA must consider them at this time and get our resources ready and mobilized so that when channels clear we can move food, water and shelter into place.  Helicopters are now in full operation but are currently these flights are in operation only for transport of the badly injured into the main overcrowded hospital areas.

We are trying to pre-arrange a helicopter as one of our group members is a helicopter pilot and we will be trying to charter his craft to bring supplies into Sankhu and Kabre areas as our first main camps. 

The airport is only taking in select flights while we hear that most commercial flights are not being allowed in yet at this time.  A few members of our organization in the USA is standing by in such a case as we can move in and be effective.

 

For those of you who have given, we cannot express in words what this means to the people who are on the ground.  We have raised $25,000 in the past 24 hours and so far $3,000 has made it through our organization's channel into the country.  Tomorrow the rest will be sent to our project coordinator's hands.  We will soon inform you about those wishing to send personal funds to specific individuals as soon as banks open on the ground.  For those of of you who may not be in a position to do much financially, please know that any amount no matter how small is accumulating and can make the difference to serving even one person food.  Most importantly, if you cannot help financially, at least spread the word to all your friends to give them an opportunity to pitch in.  So please continue to spread the word every day once a day while asking your friends to also spread the word.  Donations can be made by our main processing called "stripe" secure payment service, or if you prefer to use Pay Pal this option is also available.

 

 
 

 

The following is a list of supplies and coordination efforts we will need to raise support for in the first rounds:

Supplies:

1. Tents, mats and camping beds
2. Food kits and cooking ware
3. Blankets
4. First aid kits
5. (20) Water barrels and jugs
6. (4) Satellite Phones

Logistics:

1. Chartering of Helicopter runs to our emergency centers
2. Motor Cyles and petrol to Transport goods on the ground between KTM and outlying reachable areas
3. volunteer and additional staffing
4. Portable Solar electric power system with lights and phone chargers (Lotus Energy and other companies locally)

 Please note that we would prefer to channel as much of the donation through "stripe" secure payment services if possible.

Nepal Relief Update: Day 1

Day 1 - 1:10pm

To all our extended communities and friends,

It deeply saddens me to write this letter.  You have probably heard of the massive 7.9 earthquake that has struck Nepal.  Many thousands of homes made from brick and mud are completely collapsed and even some modern buildings in city centers have fallen.  The death toll has skyrocket by each hour and has passed 1,400.  People are stuck in the rubble everywhere and the town of my center, Sankhu Vajrayogini, has been extremely affected as almost all the homes there are clay and sub-standard.  The Hospitals are overflowing onto the streets and many main roads are completely unpassable due to being widely cracked.  

We have provided our Bodhivastu center building and land with tents and is currently being established as an emergency hostel for as many as we can handle.  Reports are coming to us hourly from several sources.  Please give generously at this time as the suffering is difficult for us even to fathom.  We will soon be posting a list of items we will need to serve the people with emergency food, shelter, medical expenses and later for restoration of some homes as possible.
 
We are adding to our local team on the ground through our two Not-for-Profit organizations, Bodhivastu Foundation and The Himalayan Light Foundation (HLF) for this critical work.  HLF office and Kathmandu staff are already in place and will commence work in the morning.

If you cannot support with funds, then please take any and all action to help by sharing this page as widely as possible without hesitation asking your contacts to do the same.  The early days are going to be the most critical.  Help us mobilize as many forces at the earliest time while urgent help is most badly needed.
 
Yours in action,
Lama Rangbar Nyima Özer

The following is a list of supplies and coordination efforts we will need to raise support for in the first rounds:

Logistics:

1. Chartering of helicopter runs to our emergency centers
2. Motor cyles and petrol to transport goods on the ground between   Kathmandu and outlying reachable areas
3. Volunteer and additional staffing
4. Portable Solar electric power system with lights and phone chargers (Lotus Energy and other companies locally)

Supplies:

1. Tents, mats and camping beds
2. Food kits and cooking ware
3. Blankets
4. First aid kits
5. (20) Water barrels and jugs
6. (4) Satellite Phones