23 July 2015: Almost 3 months ago, on 25 April, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake destroyed parts of Nepal, killing over 8,800 people. It was followed by a second earthquake on 12 May.
In the aftermath, Plan International has provided aid to nearly 196,000 individuals, including almost 82,000 children in some of the hardest-hit areas.
The needs of the 3 million children affected by the devastating earthquakes must be prioritised, says Plan International.
“Three months on, there are still too many children in desperate need," says Plan International’s Emergency Response Manager, Paolo Lubrano.
"The earthquake impacted the entire country, but it took a massive toll on children. Many lost their friends and loved ones, and their homes and schools were destroyed. They are facing an epic struggle to rebuild their lives.”
Plan International and partners carried out a joint consultation with over 1,800 children across 14 affected districts to discover more about the impact the earthquake had on them. The participants revealed their top priorities were shelter, education, sanitation and healthcare.
Futures in jeopardy
Sushma, 12, was impacted by the disaster: “The earthquake brought huge and unexpected change in our lives. We are living in shelters with no toilet and drinking water. I cannot concentrate on my studies. I am still scared of on-going aftershocks. I want to return to normal life soon.”
The findings will be presented to the Nepalese government, to be used in its post-disaster planning. Now organisations, such as Plan International, will ensure children’s voices inform the recovery and reconstruction of Nepal.
“Children’s futures will be in jeopardy if we do not rebuild and recover the earthquake-affected areas, with the needs, opinions and concerns of children in mind,” says Lubrano.
Plan International’s priorities include building Temporary Learning Centres to ensure children can return to school as quickly as possible - so far 166 have been established.
“I am worried about my future. My house is broken and my parents can’t afford to give me a good education. I think we can help rebuild our school,” said 12-year-old Dilisha.
Impact on women and girls
The earthquake also had a major impact on women and girls, who often bear the brunt of disasters. They have expressed concerns about unsanitary and overcrowded living conditions, impacting their privacy, personal hygiene and individual safety.
“We are making progress and adjusting our response based on the needs of children, communities and the situation on the ground. Having distributed life-saving materials, Plan International is now focused on keeping children safe and getting them back to school,” said Lubrano.