In The News (5)

Nepalis in New York Improvise a Relief Effort for Earthquake Victims
Most Nepalis here have sidestepped the major international humanitarian organizations, which many view as slow or inefficient. Nearly all have avoided the Nepali government, calling it ineffective and corrupt. They have instead sent money and goods to their homeland through grass-roots Nepali groups, or directly to relatives and friends...... the largest enclaves in the Queens neighborhoods of Corona, Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, Ridgewood, Sunnyside and Woodside, as well as in Midwood in Brooklyn ..... In recent days, Western aid organizations and governments complained that Nepali bureaucratic procedures were holding up relief supplies at the Kathmandu airport. Representatives of Heartbeat have sent a request through their social media networks that travelers bound for Nepal consider using part of their luggage allotment to carry relief supplies.
Nepal’s Young Men, Lost to Migration, Then a Quake
When the dense pillar of smoke from cremations by the Bagmati River was thinning late last week, the bodies were all coming from Gongabu, a common stopover for Nepali migrant workers headed overseas, and they were all of young men. ...... The countryside was largely stripped of its healthy young men even before the quake, as they migrated in great waves — 1,500 a day by some estimates — to work as laborers in India, Malaysia or one of the gulf nations, leaving many small communities populated only by elderly parents, women and children. Economists say that at some times of the year, one-quarter of Nepal’s population is working outside the country. ...... unless the government acts swiftly to create work opportunities at home, the exodus of young people will accelerate after the relief operation ends, permanently handicapping the country’s ability to rebuild. ..... The Gongabu neighborhood was one of the deadliest places in Kathmandu. It is an area where recruiting agencies housed young village men awaiting work overseas, with several thousand budget hotels and guesthouses crammed in lanes near the long-distance bus station. ..... The scale of the economic migration from Nepal has amazed development economists for many years. ..... Today, manufacturing contributes only 6 percent of the country’s gross domestic product ...... The earthquake will make things much harder for the country’s poorest people, especially in rural areas where most Nepalis live. ..... The tourism industry, which had been growing and contributing about 9 percent of the country’s output, is now expected to drop off sharply. ..... many will decide that they can best help their families by going abroad and sending their earnings home
With Monsoon Nigh, Tent Shortage After Nepal Earthquake Prompts a D.I.Y. Response
The monsoon is expected in about three days. ...... An entire Toyota dealership is now assembling tents — one every minute....... The estimated need is for 500,000 tents by the end of the week. The government thinks that with current supplies they can obtain 300,000 rectangles of canvas, and are uncertain where the rest will come from. ...... There is no immediate solution for permanent structures that will be needed for the coming winter
Amid Katmandu’s Earthquake Wreckage, Hints of a Shift to Safer Construction
Progress would be a good thing, because this earthquake is not nearly Katmandu’s “big one.” A closer quake of similar magnitude is inevitable, although seismologists cannot say how soon...... In 1960, a 9.5-magnitude earthquake struck Chile, after which the country embarked on a massive earthquake-safety program and enforcing new building codes. By contrast, Haiti did nothing during this period, lulled into complacency by a lack of seismic activity and hampered by constant political unrest and extreme poverty. ..... “only about 10 percent of the country’s buildings are designed by engineers – and they typically aren’t even at the construction site as their building rises.” ...... “In an environment of poverty and corruption, rigorous building codes do more harm than good.”