One terrible day last year, life as Mamata Karki knew it vanished. She was working in her corn field in Lamosanghu village when suddenly there was a loud bang and she thought a plane was falling from the sky. When she looked up, all the trees were shaking and her village, in the distance, was collapsing in a cloud of dust.
“The only thing I could think of was my child,” said Karki, who had left her son in the care of her father-in-law. But the ground was shaking so much, she wasn’t able to walk. By the time the motion subsided, all the roads and paths to home had turned to rubble.
That was the day—April 25—when a 7.6 magnitude quake rocked Nepal from an epicenter about 48 miles northwest of Kathmandu, the country’s capital. A second temblor hit the region two weeks later. Though Karki was reunited with her son soon after the first quake (“finally I saw my father-in-law holding onto my child and I felt like I could breathe again,” she recalled), the pair of temblors left nearly 9,000 people dead, damaged or destroyed about 850,000 homes, and robbed families of the hard-won security they had spent years building. The devastation won’t soon be forgotten.
With generous support from our donors and the expertise of our local partners, we were able to reach more than 300,000 people with emergency aid in the first three months after the disaster. We focused on providing food, water, shelter, latrines, and public health outreach.