Update from Nepal
Ian visited Nepal from the 3rd-11th October 2015, it was his first visit to the country since the April earthquake, in which a close friend and supplier; Yagya Gupta, his wife and eldest son died. It was an emotional meeting with his younger son, who has taken over the running of the family business which he seems to be coping with well, having been brought up since a young age in the business, and new products were developed.
On first impression Ian did not see many visible effects of the earthquake, apart from in the older areas, and also areas where the buildings were taller, where many cracks were visible. But the devastation has had a great effect on people in various parts and many people are still waiting to re-build their homes, living in temporary accommodation. The Nepalese government has been given loads of money from all over the world, but this has yet been used to positive effect, as the government has been busy preparing a new constitution which has been several years in the planning and unfortunately this has resulted in a political spat with India, it’s closest neighbour, meaning most of the border crossings are closed. This has affected Nepal’s trade with the rest of the world, and also a lack of fuel coming into the country; Nepal needs 350 tankers per day of oil/diesel/petrol and only around 5 tankers per day are managing to get through, which means people cannot move around, and the factories cannot operate. Some might say that this has been more crippling to the country than the actual earthquake itself. Furthermore, cooking gas is not coming into the country, so restaurants are having to close and people in their own homes are having to cook with reduced supplies. Nobody knows when this will be resolved. However, the Nepalese people are resilient, having had to cope with adversity, natural and man-made, many times over the last few years and their stoic attitude to life will ensure they will pull through this current crises.