Nepal Death Toll Reaches 5,000, Aid Delayed

Four days after a massive 7.8 earthquake struck Nepal, the Nepal death toll has climbed to 5,000, and the number continues to increase. Nepal is having real problems reaching the survivors in the remote communities. Aid is insufficient and the landslides, bad roads, and poor weather aren’t helping the rescue workers to search for more survivors.

Geoff Pinnock, a World Food Program emergencies officer, explained that such a rescue operation cannot be done overnight–especially if the calamity is this big–with the Nepal death toll increasing. Pinnock shared with the Associated Press that the U.N. Food Agency has already prepared the delivery of relief goods to the survivors. Among these are five cargo trucks that carry rice, biscuits, cooking oil, and sugar. The trucks are still waiting to be carried by helicopters to the villages that were hit. “Under normal circumstances, a government would have the capacity to respond to maybe 10, or 20, or 30,000 people in need. But if you’re looking at 8 million as we are here, you need a bit of time to scale everything up,” Pinnock told AP.

Bhoj Kumar Thapa, an army soldier, laments the death of his wife who spent her last breath saving their daughter. Thapa lives in Paslang Village, which is near the epicenter of the quake. As a soldier, he wanted to help his village, but found himself not having the ability to. “Only the other villagers who have also lost their homes are helping me. But we get nothing from the government,” Thapa said. “I get angry, but what can I do? I am also working for the government. I went to ask the police if they could at least send some men to help us salvage our things, but they said they have no one to send.”

Mohan Pokhran, District Disaster Management Committee Member, admitted that they don’t have the resources to buy 15,000 plastic tarps that would help in the operation. Pokhran also explained that there are only 50 volunteer army and police officers distributing the food. On Tuesday, a mudslide and avalanche hit the Ghodatabela Village, where 250 people are missing. Another tragedy caused by aftershocks will again add numbers to the total Nepal death toll.

There is always a need somewhere. Nonprofit organization endeavors to provide as much aid as possible to Gambia, whose country health care system is nonexistent: