Unlike the worsening situation in the United States, Nepal has taken a different approach to COVID-19. The central government put a total lockdown of the country in place on March 24th. Although it resulted in the closing of the spring climbing and trekking season and caused terrible economic damage to the population, Nepal was able, with physical distancing and the wearing of masks, to keep the number of infections down in the country. As of July 26, there are 18,483 confirmed cases, and sadly, 44 deaths.
This has been an extremely difficult time for the Nepalese people, but hopefully the safety efforts have paid off. On August 17th, Nepal will open up to international travel and the fall climbing and trekking season will open. It remains to been seen if this is going to change the situation. There will be strict limits on the businesses that are allowed to open and distancing and mask wearing must be followed. Travelers will only be allowed to enter with proof of a negative COVID-19 test.
With the hardship that has engulfed the country and the world, our friends and fellow Musas at Wongchhu Peak Promotion saw a need to help those who were not making a wage, causing food shortages for many people. Here Lakpa Sherpa tells the story of their mission to help others during the lockdown. A special thanks goes to Dave Carter and The Nepal Relief Fund who were instrumental in the food donation project and to all of you for helping others during this challenging time. Jam Jam!!
“A small act of kindness goes a long way.”
Coronavirus has created chaos around the world. Nepal is also one of the victims of COVID-19. The first case in Nepal was confirmed on the 23rd of January when a 31-year-old student who returned from Wuhan, China, tested positive for the disease. As a preventive measure, the Nepal Government implemented a nationwide lockdown. It carried on further preparation by procuring essential supplies, equipment and medicines, upgrading health infrastructure, training medical personnel and spreading public awareness. While imposing the lockdown, people somehow accepted it, as it was the only way to stop the transmission of the virus. However, the lockdown continued, and people were shattered since they were not able to work and earn money. Mostly, the daily wage earner was affected. Likewise, the tourism industry is also completely devastated as the government banned all the flights to and from Nepal. The borders are also sealed so far. Tourism Business has gone down beyond expectations.
We, Wongchhu Peak Promotion, also had to bear economic loss since we had several trekking expeditions and tours scheduled for this spring. We had to cancel all of them and postpone the travel dates of our guests. As we were trying to figure out what could be done to boost the morale of our employees and support the community in these hard times, our American guests who had sent their trek fees earlier informed us that they would like to contribute something to our team and the Nepalese Community. They were happy to contribute their trek deposit to the people of Nepal.
We distributed food rations to 100 needy families around Kathmandu Valley, along with the financial assistance to our field and internal office staff. We want to thank Mr. Dave Carter, Mr. Jeff Kimbell, Mr. Tom Pearson and Mr. Dave Leonard for such acts of kindness and love towards the people of Nepal. We shall do everything in our hands to help ease the lives of those affected.
Wongchhu Peak Promotion Pvt. Ltd.