Earlier this year our supporters helped provide medical and hygiene supplies to vulnerable, remote communities in the Solukhumbu District (Everest region). You gave these communities the resources needed to hold off an outbreak for as long as possible. Thank you so much.
But as we all know from our experience here in New Zealand, this is a tricky virus. Despite the best preventative measures, it’s only a matter of time before it finds a way through.
In October, a 73-year-old Sherpa man from the village of Namche, a main stop on the Everest trail, became seriously ill and was transferred to Kathmandu for treatment. He tested positive for COVID-19. Subsequent testing in the Namche area found nine further positive cases. Sadly, the 73-year-old man has now died in Kathmandu.
The people of Solukhumbu are frightened. If the infection continues to spread, the PPE and medical supplies we distributed earlier this year will run out. With the harsh Himalayan winter looming, the added danger of serious respiratory illness and onset of seasonal flu could put unbearable burden on the already strained healthcare providers.
Your donation will provide PPE, masks, hand sanitizer, oxygen machines and other critical supplies to give vulnerable communities the best chance of beating this virus.
Beyond COVID-19, Solukhumbu families face a challenging recovery. Around 80% of people in Solukhumbu are reliant on tourism for income. With no international visitors, many families have completely lost their livelihoods. To make matters worse, disease has spoiled much of the staple potato crop this season, so food shortage is a major issue. Some families have savings to soften the blow, but people in low-wage jobs like porters, labourers, cooks, and helpers are especially impacted.
Please consider making your gift monthly. Monthly giving is the most effective way to help us plan for the future, reduce admin costs and direct more funding to those who need it most.
Or click here to donate by online banking.
No job, no income and less support have made life very difficult. My savings are almost finished, and I have to survive many more months without a job in the mountains.
Ang Pemba Sherpa, a mountain trekking guide from Thame village
On top of fighting the COVID-19 outbreak, we’re committed to ensuring these families have what they need to survive and helping them restore their livelihoods. And in these uncertain times, our core mission of ensuring education, healthcare, and safe drinking water for communities in Solukhumbu remains as important as ever.
2020 has been a tough year for everyone and with the Covid-19 pandemic spreading into the Mt Everest region, it is directly affecting the people that the Himalayan Trust serves with education and health care services. There is a real anxiety up there among the high altitude villages as the virus spreads and with the cessation of the tourism industry there is no work for all the people who work in trekking and mountaineering. These people are guides, climbers, porters, lodge owners, lodge waiters, cooks, dishwashers – they have no work and no money. And winter is coming.
Please consider supporting our work among the villages of the Mt Everest area with your Christmas and New Year generosity. They need PPE for the virus and they need food to get them through. My father always said that his greatest achievement was not climbing Everest, but helping the people of Nepal. With your help, we can continue his legacy at a time of fear and uncertainty. Thanks for your support.
Chair, Himalayan Trust