After the the civil turmoils following the new constitution in Nepal, the country is now facing a critical fuel shortage. The reason is that thousands of Indian oil transporting vehicles are waiting at various crossing to enter Nepal. Generally, the border crossings are the lifeblood of the landlocked country, which relies on India for all of its petroleum products.The cause are surely ongoing protests and blockades from ethnic groups who feel under-represented in the new constitution like the Madhesi, people with Indian roots living on the southern parts of Nepal. International media reports estimate that nearly 50 protesters and police have been killed during demonstrations in the tense southern border region. Besides, there are political issues going on because the Indian government is backing the Madhesi to preserve some kind of influence.
The consequences are pretty tough for Nepali people because the crisis affects many aspets of regular life: heating, transportation, cooking, consumption…Read the following Spiegel article to know precisely more about how our life is connected to the black gold.
In Nepal, every kind of fuel-based transportation is very difficult now. Cars, taxis and buses have been lining up for many kilometres at empty petrol stations in the capital, and there have been fights at bowsers as the Nepalese scramble for the scarce resource.
Furthermore, many families and restaurants are not able to cook anymore since they run out of gas. It is so sad that people who have already suffered a lot from the aftermath of the earthquakes are now struggling again because of the current lack of oil. It´s shame!
Even though China has now agreed to donate 1.3 million litres of petrol to Nepal, I cancelled my flight because it seems too risky and too irresponsible to go there now. Nepal and China have never commercially traded oil or gas before. So, one really do not know when the oil is lighting up Nepal´s everyday´s life again. The government in Kathmandu is now exploring the possibility of transporting fuel via its northern land crossings with China, one of which reopened this month after suffering damage in the earthquake that caused widespread devastation in the impoverished country.
You cannot imagine how hard it was for me to come to that decision! I really checked every kind of option trying to realize a payoff of all the efforts I have made and of course all the money you have donated. But in the end I came to the conclusion that it is smarter to wait till the crisis has resolved to get around and work there safely, buy goods for the rebuild at a reasonable price and not to take a piece of the action for myself that is better allocated for a Nepali. I hope you understand that.
All the donations – altogether over 5000 € – will be kept by Habitat for Humanity International and will definitely spend on aid projects in Nepal. The situation will be regularly analyzed by the officials to check when the planned Jimmy Carter Work Project can be realized in the future. Because postponed is not abandoned! I will surely let you know whenever there is a new development in that case.
I am hoping that the situation will be resolved soon so Nepali and aid workers can start or resume work because there is still a lot to do to rebuild the country.
Stay strong Nepal and hope to see you soon!