The Survivors of the Turmoil
The killer earthquake that hit Nepal on April 25, 2015, is still causing damage due to frequent aftershocks. This disaster is still not over and there might be a long aftermath. We are very grateful that Animal Nepal’s Donkey Sanctuary is more or less standing strong and so do our equines.
Our caretaker Santa Bahadur remembers the day, "We were just having our morning meal when suddenly the ground started to shake. We wanted to run outside but could barely stand. My wife and I somehow managed to escape. Outside the sick donkey's isolation room collapsed in front of our eyes, followed by the tall chimney of BBM Brick Factory, just below our compound.
Be it coincidence or luck, none of our equines was inside or near the isolation room that fell down. All the animals were on the open ground unable to stand up but they were unhurt. The shaking of the ground didn't seem to stop though. There even appeared some cracks in the land. Santa Bahadur, who is in his late 60s, thought it was the end of the world. "I never saw such turmoil in my life", he says.
Santa Bahadur and his wife along with 17 equines waited till the earth calmed down. After a quick inspection they realised the main shelter and office still stood strong. They smiled with relief.
That night they stayed under the open sky hoping for a better day but the aftershocks was just killing their hope again and again.
The next day followed another big shock followed which resulted in a few cracks in the sanctuary walls. Santa Bahadur: “Hearing that some city areas were devastated, we considered ourselves fortunate to work in a sanctuary away from the city."
We are happy to share that the newly constructed earthbag donkey shelter in Badhikhel held up beautifully during the earthquake. We are trying to draw the attention of government and aid agencies towards this building technique especially for shelters and public buildings.
Sadly three staff of our equine shelter and outreach programme lost their homes during the killer quake. Tara, Hari Krishna and Shankar's homes were destroyed. Luckily none of their families got hurt.