As the scale of the devastation wrought by Saturday's deadly earthquake in Nepal continues to emerge, nearly 5,000 schools are estimated to have been completely destroyed – which is expected to have a devastating long-term impact on the lives of children, says Save the Children.
In Gorkha alone, Save the Children staff estimates that 90% of the district’s 500 schools have been destroyed or badly damaged, affecting 75,000 school children.
“Nepal's children will need the help of the international community to rebuild 5,000 destroyed schools and repair those that have been damaged – otherwise, this disaster threatens to deprive thousands of children of their basic right to education for months, or even years to come," says Roger Hodgson, Deputy Country Director for Save the Children in Nepal.
“A routine school environment is one of the best ways to return children to a sense of normality and to talk about their experiences with their peers, helping them to recover from the trauma of the disaster.”
Meanwhile, tens of thousands of children spent a fourth night sleeping outdoors in the pouring rain, unable or simply too afraid to return to their homes. Many sustained injuries in the earthquake or have seen their family members hurt or killed.
“At least 11 villages in Gorkha district have been completed demolished – including 60% of health centres and 80% of households – leaving desperate people and families braving the elements without any shelter,” says Lynette Lim, Communications Coordinator for Save the Children, in Gorkha. “We are doing everything we can to provide the most vulnerable with much-needed materials for temporary shelter, as well tarpaulins.”
Save the Children is distributing aid in some of the worst-affected areas of Nepal, including Gorkha and Kathmandu Valley. Despite challenges on the ground, the team is bringing in extra supplies via air and road to replenish diminishing stocks. Currently, 136 tonnes of aid are due to land in the country in the next few days – including jerry cans, buckets, plastic sheeting, soap and medical equipment, along with thousands of blankets and tarpaulins arriving by road from India.
Spokespeople available on location in Nepal:
+44 (0)7785 527663 (please send SMS if unable to reach by phone)
Notes to editors
- The figure of estimated schools destroyed by the earthquake has been provided by the HCT (Humanitarian Country Team) in Nepal, of which Save the Children is a member.
- Save the Children has been working in Nepal since 1976. Our work focuses on education, especially early childhood development and primary education, as well as basic health, including maternal child health and HIV and AIDS prevention and care. We work in 63 districts of Nepal.