Thursday 13 December 2018

We need €10m to help devastated people, says charity


Dualta Roughneen aid worker from Plan Ireland
Dualta Roughneen aid worker from Plan Ireland

Plan Ireland say they will need up to €10m to help fund relief efforts in Nepal after a colossal earthquake rocked the country.

Over 4,000 people have been confirmed dead so far after the magnitude-7.9 quake struck on Saturday.

The charity says millions have been left sleeping on the streets after their homes were destroyed and those with homes still standing are to afraid to go back inside.

Plan Ireland's Emergency Co-Ordinator Dualta Roughneen has said getting temporary shelter to people is their "number one priority".

Across Kathmandu and beyond, exhausted families have been laying mattresses out on streets and erecting tents to shelter from the elements.

"It is raining there at the moment and it is set to get heavier as the week goes on. It's essential to get people under some form of cover," he said.


"A lot of people have lost their homes and others are afraid to go back indoors because of aftershocks. On Sunday, a tremor hit 6.7 on the Richter scale, which is a full-blown earthquake in its own rights."

Estimates suggest that the death toll could rise as high as 5,000 as the Himalayan nation's emergency services continue to struggle.

Plan Ireland, who have had an office in the capital Kathmandu since 1978, have said they have a number of plans in place for such an occasion.

"For a number of years there has been talk of a big earthquake hitting Kathmandu, so there has been a large amount of work done in preparation for this situation," said Mr Roughneen, who landed in Nepal last night.

"But this is still a developing country and Kathmandu is a dense, unplanned city with a population of over one million people. It's vital to get medicine to the vulnerable and get vital food and water supplies running again.


"A lot of pre-planning has been done so now it is just a matter of dealing with the situation we are in to try and respond as effectively as possible."

Minister of State Sean Sherlock yesterday expressed the Government's "solidarity" with anyone whose family are still missing.

He went on to assure them that the Department of Foreign Affairs was "leaving no stone unturned" in the relief efforts.

"We are doing everything we can through our emergency consular response team in Dehli and hope to have feet on the ground very soon," he said.

Mr Sherlock announced a €1m fund that would allow the Government to deploy their "rapid response team" and release vital stocks.

"We need to get basic medical supplies, food, shelter and medicines airlifted there as soon as possible," he said.

To donate to Plan Ireland's efforts visist www.plan.ie or call 1800 829 829

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