Nepal earthquake - three months of inclusive response

Since the earthquake that hit Nepal on 25 April, CBM, with partner organisations, has reached more than 15,000 people in the worst-hit districts.

To ensure that everyone can access relief with equal ease, including the most at-risk groups such as persons with disabilities, we are using the knowledge and resources of Nepalese Disabled People's Organisations (DPOs), and working in close cooperation with mainstream relief agencies through the coordination mechanisms set up in the country.

Our emergency team, based in Kathmandu, was functioning in the hours immediately after the earthquake and has a strategy in place to lead beyond the early recovery stage and rebuild a safer, more inclusive society.

On 25th April 2015 at 11:41 local time a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal with the epicentre 81km northwest of Kathmandu. There were tremors of up to two minutes and by evening, at least 18 aftershocks had occurred. Just over two weeks later, on 12 May, a new earthquake measuring 7.3 magnitude struck 76 km northeast of Kathmandu, causing further damage.

Three months after the first earthquake, official figures  report more than 8800 deaths, more than 600,000 houses destroyed, and more than 280,000 houses partially damaged.

CBM and partners’ response

Swift - Our emergency team, based in Kathmandu, was functioning in the hours immediately after the earthquake and – with partners – we have been responding to the needs of injured people since day two.

Inclusive – We are using the knowledge and resources of Nepalese Disabled People's Organisations (DPOs) and working in close cooperation with mainstream relief organisations and the coordination mechanisms set up in the country. This approach ensures that everyone, including the most at-risk groups such as persons with disabilities, can access relief with equal ease.

Strategic – We are targeting the worst-affected districts, and:

  • We will continue to identify the needs of communities, and especially of persons with disabilities
  • We are ensuring that persons with severe injuries and disabilities have access to timely, contextually appropriate medical, orthopaedic, physical rehabilitation and psychosocial support services
  • We are working with mainstream relief organisations to ensure that persons with disabilities are included in their emergency/recovery programmes
  • We are building the capacity of our local resources to ensure the continuation of this work in the long term

Achievements – first three months

Medical & psychosocial rehabilitation & support

  • 12,081 people have been seen through outreach camps, of whom 2644 have received rehabilitation services and 786 medical interventions/surgeries have been performed
  • 1971 people have received psychosocial counselling, trauma care and tailored Psychological First Aid (PFA), while 93 people (staff/partners) have received training or refresher training on PFA

Ensuring mainstream relief is disability-inclusive

  • Since the first days of the response CBM and partner staff have strategically participated in advocacy towards in inclusive response, through the cluster system and at district and local levels. This approach is ongoing, and has included:
  • Integral members of the Inclusion Working Group under the Inter Cluster Gender Task Force and the Age and Disability Task Force (ADTF)
  • Joint production of key message documents
  • Facilitating two major trainings (with IFRC & Gender Focal Point)

Ageing and Disability Focal Points (ADFPs)

ADFPs have been established in three of the most-affected districts, to ensure that people with disabilities and older people are included in mainstream relief. They operate as specialised hubs, identifying existing services (noting what they provide), and the people with the needs (noting what these are). As well as improving the lives of the individual people and their families, they will improve the knowledge and understanding of disability inclusion in mainstream services.

  • 1164 persons with disabilities and older people affected by the earthquake have been identified
  • More than 250 referrals have been made to more than 40 organisations (international, national, local and private). These are ensuring that basic needs (including shelter, health, food, education, livelihood and Water, Sanitation & Hygiene - WASH) are addressed, and specific requirements such as wheelchairs and walking/hearing/visual aids are provided.

Moving forward

CBM and our partners will continue to support people as they recover from their losses. Our response is continually evolving, with new projects being conceptualised to suit the changing situation.

Long-term – over several years – our strategy will follow a well-defined plan, where our Nepal Country Office and South Asia Regional Office will lead beyond the early recovery stage and rebuild a safer, more accessible society for all.

More reading

CBM working with local partners to ensure that people with disabilities are included at all levels of disaster preparedness and response

Humanitarian Action