Friday, 12 February 2016

Blockade over?

The border blockade (photo from Nepal Times)
After nearly 5 months the border blockade was finally lifted last week and trucks and goods have been moving smoothly over the border this past week. We read today that fuel will now be available at almost normal supply at the pumps next week and that gas is coming into the city. This is of course great news for the country and its people who have suffered so much. We have seen articles suggesting 400,000 jobs may have been lost as a result of the blockade.

Articles are already being written on how long it will take for Nepal to recover and what will be the long term impact on the country from this. Suffice to say it will certainly take some time.

We have sat out the last 2 months of the blockade watching afar from the UK. We have been here as part of our regular Home Assignment and have certainly appreciated the break after a tough year, while always feeling torn that our friends, both Nepalis and ex-pats, remain, living through the ongoing shortages.

What has been very noticeable as we have travelled around churches and spoken to many people in the UK is the fact that very few people here are aware of it, and those that are have nearly all relied almost exclusively on our updates for information.

This was the part that has saddened us the most about this whole situation. While it was certainly not the worlds fault, the world has pretty much ignored the situation and done precious little to make any difference. The media have kept quiet and governments have kept quiet. Nepal, is evidently too small and inconsequential on the global scale for them to care. 

Maybe next time we’ll have to get onto Joanna Lumley and see if she can help again.