Disaster Aid International’s Disaster Aid Response Team (DART) Reports- Jenny

The school we are working with services the surrounding villages and is a government school. Many children walk up to 4 hours to attend and there are approximately 500 students. This is the biggest school in the region because of its accessibility by road. Students include some Tibetan refugee families, is a unisex school and the ages of the children attending school range from 5–17 years old; classes range from grade 1-10. During the earthquake, the school was totally destroyed.

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Originally, the school was on a riverbank at the confluence of two rivers with a sub-school on the other side of the river. Both were destroyed by the earthquake – one by a landslide, the other by structural building damage. A temporary emergency school was relocated approximately 1 km away to a site that was deemed safe from the river and landslides. The school had a hostel on it’s grounds which accommodated 24 students who lived the furthest distance from the school, this building was also destroyed.

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These 24 students are not currently attending school as there is nowhere to house them. The Principal went to the District Education Office in an effort to gain assistance in providing housing accommodations for these 24 students, but this was not successful. The request was made for the provision of tents, which would be used to provide temporary emergency accommodation for these children so that they can once more attend school and return to some sense of a normal routine life.

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The temporary housing accommodation is located in an area that has been cleared above the school; however, it requires a separate source of clean water to meet the needs of the children. Four tents as well as Sawyer water filtration units were donated to provide accommodation for the 24 students – 6 girls and 18 boys whose ages range between 12-17. A request was also made for the provision of clean potable water for the rest of the school. The water supply is via mountain spring water and the villagers have installed an access hose.

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The main health problems reported are that the many of the 500 children at the school suffer from diarrhea and worms due to the contaminated water (animal waste, etc). There is no clean water for drinking, hygiene or cooking. There are also no sanitation facilities nearby as they have all been destroyed. To remedy this situation, Disaster Aid International installed 2x 500 liter water tanks with Sawyer water filtration units attached. This will provide clean drinking water for the 500 students at the school. The 24 children moved into the temporary housing the day after we erected the tents and the children at the school used the filtered water immediately. They were so happy; it was very heartwarming.

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Jenny