9 days after Nepal earthquake, Canada hopes to finally roll out relief
Published Monday, May 4, 2015 10:00PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, May 4, 2015 10:24PM EDT
Nine days after Nepal’s devastating earthquake, people living not far from the country’s capital still don’t have food supplies or shelter -- something Canadians on the ground hope to change.
Nepali Shubha Ram Mumankarmi showed CTV’s Daniele Hamamdjian what’s left of his home in Bakhtapur, which is about 14 kilometres east of the capital Kathmandu. The home was destroyed in the April 25 earthquake, which killed more than 7,300 people and left many homeless.
Mumankarmi has been living out of a van with five other people ever since the disaster. He said he hopes to rebuild his home one day.
He said he was happy to encounter members of Canada’s Disaster Assistance Response Team, who had arrived in the region to assess the situation. Mumankarmi told a DART member that no government or NGO had yet provided any food.
On Monday, officials in Ottawa told reporters that Canada’s DART team had assessed the situation and decided to provide “engineering support” and “debris removal” to Bakhtapur.
DART will also set up a camp about 80 kilometres east of Kathmandu to provide tents, medical support and assistance to NGOs, according to Maj.-Gen. Charles Lamarre.
Deirdre Kent, the head of the Nepal Earthquake Interdepartmental Task Force, said that Canada has now doubled its commitment to humanitarian aid efforts from $5 million to $10 million.
“In the remote areas of Nepal, roads are still blocked, houses are unsafe and basic needs are not being met in many instances,” said Kent, who works for Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada.
Kent noted that $1-million of government funds had already been provided to the Canadian Red Cross to set up a field hospital in the northwest of the country. The hospital has treated about 80 people.
Maj.-Gen. Charles Lamarre said that four Canadian Forces planes had left CFB Trenton for Nepal, carrying equipment like excavators and vehicles, plus relief personnel and supplies.
He said three of the planes had arrived as of Monday and the fourth was en route to New Delhi, India, from which it is expected to eventually leave for Kathmandu.