May, 14th 2015
A nation already reeling from the major earthquake that hit on April 25th, 2015 was struck again on May 12th with an aftershock magnitude of 7.3. Numerous tremors and smaller aftershocks continued to shake the country in the weeks that followed. These earthquakes have inflicted serious damage to Nepali infrastructure and critically compromised clean water supply. Risk of landslides continues after the earthquakes abate due to weakened reservoirs and dams controlling the river and glacial melt flow. Much of rural drinking water has been contaminated with pollutants and sewage lost in the earthquake which exacerbate due to monsoon floods. The demographics of people most affected by this tragedy are those living in rural communities and are often an already marginalized segment of society: the poor, marginalized castes and ethnic groups, women, children (as young able-bodied men are often working away from the villages and thus can not help in local recovery). Often these groups are already underrepresented by their central government. As the summer months approach, the situation may grow more dire, as sanitation issues arise, as well as lack of access to potable water, lack of sanitary sewage management, hygiene issues will be amplified. Naturally, there is fear of increased outbreaks of diseases, as vectors will be growing rapidly in the summer heat.