Nepal After the Quakes
Nepal – after the earthquakes
Two weeks in Nepal, including a week in the Annapurna trek area and my reflections on life here post-earthquakes are mixed. From afar, the news seems terrible, on the ground the Nepalese are pragmatically rebuilding.
For those in the tourism sector it was a real relief to hear that the many international governments lifted their travel advisories in late June. NZ’s Honorary Consulate, Lisa Choegyal, was very active in assisting NZ to be the first international government to lift the ban and others followed soon after. This is great news, as much of Nepal’s tourism areas are very much open and wanting visitors and with travel warnings in place general travel insurance was unavailable.
Of the three main trekking areas – Everest, Annapurna and the Langtang - only the Langtang area is seriously damaged and remains closed for tourism. With help from international specialists, Nepal is now involved in a massive range of assessments. Of great interest to me was a presentation I went to early in my visit showing a geotech assessment of the Everest and Annapurna Treks. In these areas the bridges are intact and communities are in rebuild mode. Now the with the monsoon here there is the usual risk from landslides on rural roads and with the trekking season starting again in September it’s hoped any disruption will be minimal.
Although the impacts of the quakes can be seen, here in Kathmandu everyone is going about helping with the rebuild. For many Nepalese, the quakes have brought a greater unity to their communities.
How to help Nepal?
Several colleagues and friends have asked how they can help people in Nepal. Cash donations are the best and good options are:
My focus for the next few days is to pull together key findings of my assessment of Nepal’s mountain tourism safety. Later this week I’ll present my initial results at a national seminar before heading home to New Zealand.
Posted: Wednesday 15 July 2015