Corrie Kramer, water, sanitation and hygiene expert for Plan International, shared her insights on the recent Nepal earthquake emergency response. There have been over 100 small and large earthquakes across Nepal over the past month affecting millions of people. Immediate distribution of water and sanitation support was needed and remains an ongoing need. Point-of-use water treatment was a focus as much of the sanitation infrastructure was destroyed. In addition, road access was a problem with the hill area of Nepal barring the brunt of the earthquakes. Assistance varies widely as access to homes and roads are tenuous and lack of electricity is hampering progress. Military helicopters along with local assistance has been most effective in delivering assistance.
The next steps for WASH efforts include getting markets access and commerce up and running; determining what structures are habitable; and quickly addressing shelter before the beginning of rainy season (monsoons) begin. This includes taking steps to counter the high potential outbreaks of cholera and other water-borne diseases.