On 25th April, an Earthquake of magnitude 7.8 hit Nepal.
So far 8632 deaths have been officially recorded, with over 19000 people injured.
19 of these deaths occurred on Mount Everest, where an avalanche was triggered. This has the made the 25th of April the most deadly day on record on Everest.
My friend Sonam Lama was on the mountain.
4 days after the earthquake, Sonam reported on social media that he was alive. It was around this time that videos of the avalanche on Everest started to emerge, and I began to understand a portion of the suffering that must have ensued.
Myself and Sonam met in 2008. He was the guide on a trek of the Annapurna circuit, and we quickly became friends. We have since kept in touch. When the earthquake hit Nepal, I was devastated. It is a place I will always see as special; a theme constant with all people who visit the country. I was gutted for the people and their irreplaceable losses, for the ancient monuments like the Dharahara Tower, Durbar Square and Swayambhunath that I remember so fondly, and I was also worried for my friends.
Thorong-La - the highest mountain pass in the world. My two friends Pemba (left), and Sonam (right).
Hearing back from Sonam, and the other people I had met out in Nepal was beyond a relief. Sonam safely returned to Kathmandu Valley on the 3rd of May. He discovered that his family home had been reduced to rubble.
Sonam shares this house with 7 of his family members, including his wife and three children. His work as a Sherpa and mountain guide brings him an adequate income day to day, but Sonam has told me that this event will reach far into any savings he has. He is currently living in a temporary shack made from corrugated sheeting and wood.
Sonam and his family of seven’s temporary shelter.
This small campaign is aimed at directly helping Sonam and his family. Rebuilding his home needs to be sustainable, in that it needs to be able to withstand any future events that are similar in nature; especially in a world of growing climate instability where devastating natural events are on the increase. Luckily, repair costs are relatively small in Nepal when compared to western prices. Sonam has told me that he will need an estimated £450 to rebuild his family home. As a budding conservation biologist, who has been working for free for the last 9 months, I cannot afford to pay this amount on my own. I am therefore asking for any help you can give. This website will take 4% of the money, and a transfer via paypal or western union will also incur fees. Aside from this, the full amount raised will go directly to Sonam. If you’re the type of person who worries about money being lost in admin and in politics in events like this, then this is the cause for you.
Please share this campaign as much as you can, and give as little or as much as you can afford. In this scenario, every penny really will count, be it to buy nails, or cement, or bricks, to hire building equipment, or to buy curtains, and bedding, and to replace what can be replaced in an event wrought by loss.