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My task in Nepal was logistics – managing warehouses to receive and distribute relief goods like tarpaulins, blankets, kitchen equipment and tools to make shelters.
It is behind the scenes work, but good logistics is crucial after a disaster, people urgently need aid, so my job is about making sure the right things get to the people that need them and in a timely manner.
I was initially based in Kathmandu working with teams from the Finnish and Danish Red Cross, where large warehouses - tents called Rub Halls, had been set up from scratch.
Here, supplies of relief items came in to be distributed. Thousands of tarpaulins, medical items, tents – you name it!
Emergencies are chaotic, but it is vital to keep things organised and flowing in order to keep aid flowing to the people that need it most.
There were challenges given Nepal is a land locked country and goods either had to be flown in or come overland from a port in India.
I spent two weeks setting up and running the warehouses and training a new local recruit who will become the long term warehouse manager.
I then moved to Chautara, a town north-east of Kathmandu, very near the epicentre of the second earthquake on 12 May. Chautara and the surrounding villages have been badly damaged, with many buildings collapsed, pancaked or on a severe lean.
I was supporting logistics for the region which also included a Red Cross hospital and water and sanitation projects, as well as the usual distribution of aid.
The Red Cross water and sanitation teams were installing water and toilet facilities around the area and relief teams were distributing aid with support from more than 100 local volunteers.
Any disaster operation is complex. Just two months after these devastating earthquakes, Nepal had the added complications of monsoon rains that loosen soil and bring down landslides onto roads, cutting off people in tiny hamlets perched on mountainsides.
A flexible attitude helps in a disaster. Someone says the truck will be here in half an hour. It could be anything from five minutes to five hours.
Plans always change. There’s nothing unusual about that. You’ve got to go with the flow and keep smiling. You just smile and change the plan and do something else.
That’s what I enjoy – going to places and helping, whatever needs to be done.