Interview opportunity a year after the earthquake in Nepal on 25 April

Earthquake at the top of the world – one year on – Temporary accommodation, health stations, and bricklaying courses: GIZ provided extensive support following the earthquake in Nepal and is now promoting reconstruction.

On 25 April 2015, the earth shook violently in Nepal. At a magnitude of 7.8, it was the worst earthquake in the region for more than 80 years. Numerous aftershocks followed in the weeks after the initial disaster, some of them severe. Approximately 9,000 people lost their lives and more than 22,000 suffered injuries.

Right from the outset, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH provided extensive support on behalf of the German Federal Government. ‘After such a major disaster, the first thing people need is clean drinking water, something to eat and a roof over their heads,’ said Roland Steurer, GIZ Country Director Nepal. To enable people to get on with their lives, GIZ organised food and medicine, and also delivered construction materials, tools and energy-saving ovens to the villages, some of which were accessible only on foot. As a result, people were able to set up temporary housing just in time before the rainy season started. Moreover, equipped with small plastic greenhouses and seeds, they were able to grow vegetables and thus ensure their basic food security. To treat the injured swiftly and to ensure basic health care, GIZ helped set up maternity centres and repaired health stations, and also supplied them with the medicines and materials they needed. In all, GIZ provided assistance to almost 200 health care facilities in four districts and also assisted the Nepalese Government to coordinate relief. At present, measures are ongoing to reconstruct 39 health stations that were completely destroyed.

Once the acute emergency relief phase was over, reconstruction began, and it continues today. To enable people to generate income and develop perspectives, GIZ provided support in the form of vocational training as carpenters, electricians or goat farmers. ‘Among other things, we have trained 700 bricklayers, carpenters and joiners – including many women – and taught them about earthquake-proof construction. The idea is to promote reconstruction and foster disaster preparedness simultaneously,’ said GIZ expert Steurer. To provide nearly 2,500 pupils with regular lessons once more, GIZ is cooperating with the Norwegian Government to construct 15 schools in three districts.

To mark the anniversary of the earthquake in Nepal, GIZ Country Director Roland Steurer is available for interview on Wednesday 20 April from 11:00 to 13:00 or on Thursday 21 April from 12:00 to 14:00. If you are interested, please contact the GIZ Press Office.

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is a federally owned organisation. We support the German Government in the fields of international cooperation for sustainable development and international education. Through our work we assist people and societies in shaping their own future and improving living conditions.