Planned Relief Mission to Thumi, Gorkha
Tomorrow or the day after supplies will be sent to Thumi, courtesy of the Pokhara Rotary Club, the Nepal-Bharat (India) Friendship Association, and of Sansar Nepal. Soma will be accompanying them.
Thumi is located in Gorkha District which is in the Gandaki Zone of northern-central Nepal. It is comprised of several Wards, most of them inaccessible by road. Supplies to these inaccessible villages must be carried up by hand. The steps leading up to the villages in some of these Wards are extremely steep, taking several hours to climb. Supplies will be taken there by road to a central point that is normally used by these villages, called Arkhet. The villagers will meet us there and the supplies will be distributed to them. They will have to carry it up by themselves!
No government aid has reached there as yet – only some limited, locally-provided aid, such as ours.
Our relief efforts will be focused on Wards 6, 7, 8 and 9, as follows…
Ward 6: Bhalak and Chapagaun villages. Walking time from Arkhet: 3hrs
Ward 7: Shamrang and Nepot villages. Walking time from Arkhet: 3.5 hrs
Ward 8: Deurali village. Walking time from Arkhet: 8hrs
Ward 9: Dharapani village. Walking time from Arkhet: 6hrs
From what we have been told, there are some 1004 houses in the area of which only four are still standing. The relief effort will be taking supplies (tents, blankets and food) for 200 homes, which equates to approximately 1,000 people (based on a UN-average of 5 persons per dwelling).
Our group has already procured, from India, good-quality tarpaulins (which are more expensive), with the view of servicing the villagers for the next few years, as they will not be able to rebuild any time soon. Good-quality nepalese blankets have also been procured. The total expenditure for this assistance is NPR 800,000 (US$ 7,900). Sansar Nepal has committed NPR 150,000 (US$ 1,500) for the provision of food for 1000 people. In the present circumstances, this doesn’t represent a “major” food supply but it will certainly help.
We have been advised that we only have a window of opportunity of approximately three weeks to help the people in these very remote villages, because the monsoon rains are imminent. Nothing but helicopters will be able to get in after that, subject to the prevailing weather conditions.