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Remembering the 2015 Nepal Earthquakes | A Photo Journal

Water Mission - Nepal 2015 Sean Sheridan

Following the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Nepal on April 25, 2015, we immediately deployed staff and equipment to assess and implement solutions for communities in desperate need of safe water. Staff from Indonesia, Denmark, and the United States assessed 33 displacement camps, mountain villages, rural communities, and hospitals. With the quick support of our incredible donors and partner organizations, we were able to reach nearly 16,000 people with the gift of safe water.

Thulodhading, Nepal - June 19, 2015

Water Mission in Nepal | Sean Sheridan

Thulodhading, Nepal - June 19, 2015

“… I rounded the corner and took in the real scene of what the earthquake had done… Not only had it leveled most of the school, but it had created a foot-wide fault running along the entire site that threatened to send the whole hilltop down the mountain. This was an unsafe place that was never going to be reclaimed as a school compound.”

– Sean Sheridan, Field Photographer

Water Mission in Nepal - Bobby Neptune

Water Mission in Nepal - Bobby Neptune

Thulodhading, Nepal - June 19, 2015

With eight of the world’s tallest peaks, including Mount Everest, Nepal presented considerable logistical challenges. Many of the communities in need were in remote areas. The mountainous roads were very dangerous and, as monsoon season was approaching, landslides posed a huge risk.

Water Mission in Nepal - Sean Sheridan

Water Mission in Nepal | Sean Sheridan

“We were traveling back from Dhading when a thunderstorm came up out of nowhere… wind rips around the mountains and valleys! I honestly thought there was a tornado. We did not know what was safer — to hold our spot on the road at the bottom of the valley and risk being hit or trapped by a landslide, or to get off the mountain road as fast as possible. We chose to get out as fast as possible. Landslides happened quickly, power lines were falling, and the temporary shelter tarps were flying everywhere.”

– Seth Womble, VP of Operations at Water Mission

Water Mission in Nepal | Sean Sheridan

“I’ve worked in the developing world for nearly a decade now… and there was something very unique about this community. The way they were fully involved, every one of them, from the youngest to the oldest.

 

If they weren’t lifting, they were digging. If they weren’t digging, they were finding tools we didn’t have and needed. It was quite special to see how involved they were in the entire process.”

–  Bobby Neptune, Field Photographer

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Water Mission in Nepal - Bobby Neptune

“Although everywhere around you was complete destruction, you could see hope in the community as the women would talk and laugh together, and as the children played outside what used to be their homes. They didn’t let the destruction get in the way of them living their lives. It was like they decided to simply get up, rebuild, and go on living, never once believing this was their final fate.”

– Tim Darms, Project Engineer at Water Mission

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Water Mission in Nepal | Sean Sheridan

“Despite the rigors of getting there, camping out high in the hills of the Himalayas, and witnessing great destruction, seeing the joy that clean water is delivering to people who are in great need of refreshment – both in their bodies and in their spirits – was a great privilege.”

– Sean Sheridan, Field Photographer

Water Mission in Nepal | Sean Sheridan

Water Mission in Nepal | Bobby Neptune

Water Mission in Nepal | Bobby Neptune

“The community was ecstatic. There were smiles and laughter overshadowing the sadness. There was no official opening of the [water] system. There wasn’t really time, but there was a quick ceremony where the community gave us all flowers and gifts they had made. It was officially operating and functioning, and there was water in the community that less than 24 hours ago had not had it.”

– Bobby Neptune, Field Photographer

Water Mission in Nepal | Bobby Neptune

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“…perhaps what is most encouraging of all is that what we’re doing here isn’t a temporary fix. It’s instilling knowledge to teach their communities and neighbors. It’s restoring health, as many are suffering from waterborne illnesses. It’s providing safe water for the rest of their lives. And it’s learning a deeper gratitude from a people so eager to give the little they have.”

– Michael Steele, former Engineer at Water Mission

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Water Mission in Nepal - Bobby Neptune

On behalf of the people of Nepal, we thank you for helping make this recovery effort possible. To learn more about what’s happened since the arrival of safe water in Nepal, read more here.

Photography: Sean Sheridan & Bobby Neptune

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