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THOUSANDS of vulnerable families affected by the Nepal earthquake will get vital shelter and supplies over the freezing winter months, thanks to a new Plan International project.
The 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck six months ago (SUN) killing nearly 9,000 people, destroying homes and leaving millions without adequate shelter.
Temperatures are expected to drop to as low as minus 10 degrees in the Dolakha region where more than 41,000 families need support to get through winter.
Plan’s £1.6 million project, mostly funded by the UK’s Department for International Development, will enable 31,000 people there to access safe shelters and latrines.
A further 7,700 of the most vulnerable families will get special kits which contain clothes and warm bedding. Those living at higher altitudes will also receive wood stoves and solar lamps.
Mattias Bryneson, Plan International’s Country Director in Nepal, says: “While progress has been made to meet the immediate priorities of families, many still need earthquake-resistant homes and protection during the winter season.
“Children tend to be more vulnerable in severe weather and are at risk of winter-related illnesses. So we must act fast to ensure they are protected during the freezing temperatures and are still able to go to school,” adds Mr Bryneson.
As part of the new project, thousands of families will be educated about the importance of building safe insulated shelters that will withstand the winter, as well as future disasters.
Plan will also be raising awareness about child protection and preventing violence against women and girls, which often increases during emergencies.
Tanya Barron, Chief Executive of Plan International UK, was in the Nepal when the earthquake struck on April 25th.
“The earthquake was a devastating and terrifying event that has had a huge impact on the people of Nepal. Six months on, there is still much to do.
“This grant from the Department of International Development will make a huge difference to families in Dolakha over the winter period.
“The key element of this project is that the community itself will be involved in its implementation.
“We will be targeting the most vulnerable families, and ensuring that their specific needs and challenges are fully taken into account.
“This is a vital part of our work, enabling us to support communities in the most effective way possible,” she adds.
Father-of-three Chitra, 33, who has been trained in carpentry by Plan, says: “I want to ensure that everyone in my community gets a new home. I will advise people on how to insulate their homes to keep them warm during the winter months.”
Since the April earthquake, Plan International has helped 255,000 people in Nepal, 107,000 of them children.
The charity has provided emergency shelter kits, food and water and sanitation facilities as well as ensuring thousands of children have safe spaces to play and learn.
For more information on Plan’s work or to make a donation call 0800 526 848 or visit www.plan-uk.org