Kathmandu, Nepal, May 2, 2016 / 23:04 pm
Members of the international Catholic aid agency Caritas visited Nepal last week to mark the anniversary of a devastating earthquake that left millions homeless, bringing aid and a spirit of solidarity.
A delegation of Caritas International participated in a conference in the Nepali capital Kathmandu April 25 – 27, and visited outlying areas affected by the quake. They evaluated the relief effort of the Church thus far, and planned future projects for the agency.
“I am really amazed by the resilience of the earthquake affected people in Nepal,” Bishop Tarcisio Isao Kikuchi of Niigata told CNA May 2. Bishop Kikuchi participated in the delegation as head of Caritas Asia.
“People have not lost their hope for future,” he said, though “one year after the disaster, people are still living in shelters, unable to reconstruct their houses.”
“Though they have been facing terrible difficulties and a delay of official assistance, they are confident of rebuilding their life in due time.”
A 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Kathmandu April 25, 2015, killing more than 8,000 persons, and was followed by some 120 aftershocks. A second major quake, magnitude 7.3, hit eastern Nepal May 12, 2015.
Bishop Kikuchi and the other delegates visited quake-hit areas outside Kathmandu, going to villages in the Himalayas often accessible only by dirt roads, and where the path to recovery will be a long one.
Among these was was Balthali, one of the worst-affected areas which is more than 25 miles southeast of Kathmandu, where nearly 190 houses were destroyed.