NEPAL UPDATE: The long haul
Posted: on May 30, 2015
At the moment it looks likely that we will try to extend our disaster response phase of work in Nepal by another month (3 months total) – so taking us into August. After that the team are looking at what the needs and opportunities may be for MAF to be involved longer term to assist with the recovery phase to aid the Nepalis in rebuilding their lives and communities following the devastating quakes over the last month.
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The flight operation in numbers
Since 9 May, the MAF coordinated project has:
– Flown 205.8 hours to 114 different landing locations in 8 districts
– Conducted 473 separate flight legs
– Carried 825 passengers
– Carried 84.6 MT (metric tonnes or 84,649 kg) of relief and aid airfreight
– Conducted 7 aeromedical evacuation flight legs including three on 21 May for the Norwegian Red Cross
The project continues to see strong demand for the service with flight booking lead time out to 5 days presently. We are seeing a number of smaller Nepalese NGOs registering for the coordinated flight service, demonstrating significant local engagement. Of the approximate 65 organisations registered for the coordinated flight service, around 1/3 are Nepalese NGOs.
Continuing aftershocks and the imminet monsoon
There continue to be occasional aftershocks which, while not unsettling the MAF team, do invoke a significant reaction from Nepali people who rush from buildings. Also there are still many people camping in open areas as they either have a severely damaged house or are too scared to go back home.
This will become problematic once the monsoon starts (expected two weeks) though it is raining at night now. The monsoon will also compound access issues in remote areas where unstable hillsides from the twin quakes are expected to cause many landslips that will affect surface transport options by cutting off roads and trails. The monsoon will also result in reduced available flight hours – the operator is telling us by 30% to 50% availability – so this will impact the flight program.
Please continue to keep us in your prayers
– The team are presently working 11 hour days 7 days per week with some additional phone calls and emails into the evening. Please pray for stamina. Some staff have had some minor stomach upsets so please pray for good health.
– There are a number of staff changes in the coming week with people rotating in and out so please pray for rapid and smooth handovers and good ongoing teamwork.
– Family back home: Many on the team either have been away a long time or are starting a long stint. Some will be away from home more than a month. They have asked for prayer for their families through this time that they are away. Brent’s family is still settling into a new home and town, only now doing it without him.
– Please pray for wisdom for the Disaster Response team members, and all the MAF leadership as they seek to discern what the future for MAF is in Nepal.
– Praise for the positive relationships of trust and respect that continue to grow between MAF Staff and the Fishtail Air staff.
– Pray for the Nepali people, for the ongoing trials this disaster has caused and that they may now be able to start the recovery process.