Cayman’s Nepalese community is helping to provide some of the first convoys delivering aid to remote villages in their disaster-hit homeland.
A second major earthquake hit the Himalayan nation Tuesday, two weeks after a devastating quake killed more than 8,000 people and reduced entire towns to rubble.
Amid the debris, volunteers and aid agencies are working to provide food, medicine and shelter for the survivors.
Members of the Nepalese community in Cayman are coordinating with the Lions Club in their home country to get aid directly to remote villages, including those where family members and friends have been affected.
Puspa Rumba, a stylist at Eclipze Hair Design in Grand Cayman, whose home was flattened in the April 25 quake, said just over $5,000 in donations collected by the Nepalese community in Cayman has been sent to provide support.
The money paid for aid to two remote areas, including her home village of Khukhure, where every building was flattened.
Images sent by her brother Sabin Rumba show volunteers handing out bags of rice, soap and other provisions to villagers, with the remnants of their homes in the background.
Suresh Budhathoki, who works at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, helped establish a link with the Lions Club through his sister, who is president of the Kathmandu chapter of the association. He said the volunteers, funded by contributions from Cayman, worked with local authorities and village district committees to bring the first trucks of aid to the remote Nuwakot district.
“There was no aid from government or the Red Cross at that time. They were the first ones to get there. They brought blankets and noodles and rice for 158 families,” he said.
Fundraising is continuing among the Nepalese community in Cayman. Another $5,500 is being sent this week, which will go toward aid for the district of Sindhupalchowk.
Mr. Budhathoki said it was important to see that the money was being spent immediately on essentials.
Shiva Baniya, who also works at The Ritz-Carlton, said the aim is for the funds to go toward direct immediate aid for villages that need it the most.
“We can’t reach each and every place, but we can try to get some food and shelter to people we know need help. It is not much, but it makes them happy and it gives us satisfaction to see that,” he said.
Mr. Baniya’s wife, who lives with him in Grand Cayman, is currently in Kathmandu and felt the impact of the second quake, which killed 48 people and injured more than 1,000.
“She went out to visit and to see what she could do to help,” Mr. Baniya said. “Now I am worried for her safety. We knew there would be aftershocks but not a 7.4 magnitude earthquake. Right now everyone is scared and wondering what is going on.”
Meanwhile, Cayman’s climbing community raised some $8,000 during an auction event at XQ’s restaurant last week. The money will go to the American Himalayan Foundation, which is doing aid work in Nepal.