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KATKiDS steps up Nepal aid appeal

Widespread devastation: A 7.8 magnitude earthquake caused widespread devastation in Nepal on April 25, and a 7.3 earthquake claimed more lives on Monday

International Bermudian charity KATKiDS is stepping up its aid appeal for Nepal after another serious earthquake shook the region.

The charity is seeking financial donations for two organisations, Asha Nepal and Gentle Rain Nepal, who now urgently need emergency funds for water, food, medical supplies, temporary shelter and any other expenses they will face following a 7.8 magnitude earthquake that caused widespread devastation on April 25, and a 7.3 earthquake that claimed more lives on Monday.

After Monday’s earthquake, a spokesman for Asha Nepal, a human rights organisation dedicated to the empowerment of women and children affected by sex trafficking, reported that all at Asha were unhurt but shaken, and that there are no reports of any severe damage in Kathmandu.

“Everyone is outside and the team are out trying to procure more tents for yet another night outside,” the spokesman said, adding that there is no further visible damage to any of their buildings but this second major quake and the ongoing tremors will surely create further danger and damage to buildings already fragile and to the substructures and foundations.

He added that there is serious concern for the remote villages up around Namche, many of which are difficult to access even in normal situations.

Gentle Rain founder and Bermuda resident Tracy Tepper has also been attempting to contact the team in Nepal, but communication is unreliable. A KATKiDS statement explained that Gentle Rain’s team, who work with at risk children in Kathmandu, has been assessing needs, providing triage, developing budgets, buying supplies, and supervising and/or delivering building materials, food, and water through its existing grass roots community outreach network. By Monday, they had reached Gurje, Nuwacot, Sankhu, Dhading and Sindupalchok.

“Often what they find is that villages that are off the beaten track have received little emergency relief and no midterm survival supplies for building much-needed shelter,” the statement said.

“With the rainy season about to start, shelter is the immediate goal as tents become inadequate, and the potential for the spread of disease becomes greater. Yesterday’s [Monday’s] quake will have made this situation even more difficult.

“While only about one-third as strong as the earthquake in April, yesterday’s [Monday’s] tremor has shaken foundations and frayed nerves. People are scared to go indoors for fear additional aftershocks will cause further building collapse.

“Food, water, shelter and cooking fuel have become a priority. Children in particular are suffering psychological stress as, more than two weeks after the initial devastating earthquake, daily life was just starting to return to some normalcy when [Monday’s] quake hit,” the statement added.

• Independent charity KATKiDS raises funds for charities in Bermuda, Southern Africa and Nepal. Anyone wanting to donate should visit bdatix.bm or www.katkids.com.

• Companies, who would consider holding a “denim day” or similar fundraiser for KATKiDS’ Nepali charities, are urged to e-mail info@katkids.com.

• KATKiDS pledges to send 100 per cent of donated funds directly to their partner charities in Nepal without dilution beyond banking fees, and their Facebook page will have regular updates about the two organisations and the situation on the ground as new details emerge.