2 May 2015
The British Red Cross has sent a team of public-health aid workers and equipment to help thousands of people in Nepal.
The equipment is part of a 'mass sanitation module', which provides help for 20,000 people whose homes have been damaged or destroyed.
It includes showers, latrines and tools to dig latrine trenches in rural areas. There is also a digger, water pump, tools, wheelbarrows and disinfectant.
High risk of health epidemics
Megan Bassford, logistics co-ordinator for the Red Cross, said: “Nepal has been hit by its worst earthquake in 81 years. The most immediate needs are for food, shelter, water, and medical help.
"The International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) has called upon mass sanitation teams from the Spanish and British Red Cross to fly out to give their support. One team will support people in rural areas and one will be based in urban areas.
“Because it has been raining, the sanitation infrastructure has been badly damaged. People are living in close proximity so there is a high risk of health epidemics such as cholera.
"Our team members will be doing everything from digging pits and trenches for latrines to visiting local people with hygiene promotion messages such as the importance of hand washing and giving out items such as water purification tablets, to help them.
“Because of the huge loss of life we will also be sending some additional equipment to help with safe and dignified burials.”
Help for 40,000
The kit also includes tents, camp beds, mattresses, sleeping bags and kitchen kits to allow the Red Cross staff to remain self-sufficient for up to a month - reducing the burden on local resources.
The equipment was sent from the Red Cross' international warehouse in Warmley, Bristol. The UK team of four will be joined by an additional hygiene unit from the Spanish Red Cross, and together they will reach over 40,000 people in need.