From the Front Lines: A COVID-19 Report
The following is from one of our main partners on the ground in Far West Nepal. It is a firsthand account of what the COVID-19 pandemic has been like in Nepal and some of the relief efforts our partners have been implementing. The language of the report has been persevered.
Background COVID19 Crisis in Nepal:
Nepal is a landlocked country between China in the north and India in the east, west and south. We are very small country between these two huge populated, growing economic power in the world. As you know, Corona Virus came from Wuhan, China but it reached to Nepal little late comparing to other west country. Since, we are one of the poor nations and don't have good medical facilities, our Government decided to do lockdown early. In the beginning, it was helpful to stop spread the virus but now it seems that this lockdown is not helpful, rather the economic and social situation is getting more worse every day.
There are only 600 ventilators nationwide, 400 in Kathmandu and 200 outside, few days ago one person died without ventilator. Over 1.5 Million Nepalis people working in India, since Nepal and India have open border Nepalis can walk to India and Indian can walk to Nepal. After COVID19 crisis in India the positive case are rising very fast and they are trying to send these worker to Nepal since Nepal is also having some border land issue with India.
Since these Nepalis worker are returning from India, many people coming with COVID19. Right now, we have 2000 affected people and 8 people has been died, this is small number comparing to other country, because we have not done much test because we don't have enough testing kids and chemical. I am sure there are many more affected people are going to villages areas, and another serious problem is coming, over 5.5 million Nepali people are working in abroad, around 2 million in India and rest of them in middle east and other country, over 25000 worker who are in serious condition in middle ease they are coming soon we don't know how many of them affected. I am sure upcoming days are worse. So far 2649+ positive case and 11+ people has been died with COVID19.
But Government has struggled to support needy people, over 875 people has committed suicide because of frustration, desperation because they were not able to pay their house rent and family expenses since lockdown happened. Several people have lost their life because of hunger too. It seems that in our country more people died with hunger than COVID19.
We Thank God for Churches and our ministry partner who has contributed sacrificially to help these needy people. We have served 362+ families with food items and soap and 1100+ workers with dry food and water who were walking on the highway. and we also distributed gloves, mask and hand sanitizer to local police and army who are serving the local community and Local Quarantine in this lockdown and pandemic.
Food Distribution on Highway:
We have served many worker who were coming from Kathmandu, Pokhara and other big city to west Nepal, they were brought from big city and just dropped to west Nepal border, before they enter far west region, they had to line up and registered their name, address and phone no, so later police will track them and handover to local government so local government will keep them in a quarantine.
They told us they don't have money, no food all the way till here and had very difficult to travel we felt heart breaking when seeing their situation, they told us they don't want to die without food, they will haply die with corona but want to be with family that is why they left their work place. It seem that they went through lot of trouble even they were not paid salary and wages by employer, many of them refuge to pay them that is why even they had not food on the way because they did not have money, some people helped along the way in some places, we had privilege to serve them with dry food and water bottle, I remember one person told me he did not had water since last night because he don't want to get down from his bus because after suffering many days on the road he was able to get the seat and if he go down some one can take his seat and he will not able to come home, he drink whole bottle water once and ask another bottle so he can drink more on the way home. We have helped over 400 people in one day at the border of west Nepal who came in 7 buses and some trucks
LICHI Distribution for our Neighbors:
God has blessed with LICHI tree and this year there was many fruits, we decided to serve our 20 neighbor families with fresh delicious lichi, we make one bag for each family and when we reach their house with bag they thought we are selling but we told them we love you and want to share this with you, they were really touched because in this pandemic people are only thinking about themselves.
Relief for student and Parents and Ex-bonded slave Community:
We have distributed Relief food items and soap, mask to needy family in our three school, Grace, Prem [PremNagar] and Joty [Jyoti] school. There are many student’s family were in desperate need. Our teachers chosen these family and they are continuously touch with their students so in this pandemic no one suffer and die without food.
We have served many Ex-bonded slave families’ in Premnager, Ashaanager, Bishwash Nager and ShivaNager. They are the most venerable people in this pandemic because most of them are depend in daily wages, especially in Shivanager where we started JOTY School, in this community 298 family live together in a government land, they don't have land and have built temporary house and work as domestic labor, riksha driver and construction worker, since lockdown happening and everything is closed that have been going through tough time, we have supported only most desperate needy families in this community with food items. They are more family who are in desperate needy.
Thank you for your support of our partners and their work. We are still collecting funds to help provide our partners with supplies to distribute to those in need. If you feel called to give, please visit our donate page and choose the “COVID-19 Emergency Relief” fund.