The recent earthquake in Nepal has been making headlines non-stop in the past few days, due to the amount of significant damage that was taken to both people’s lives and the area in which the natural disaster occurred. Another important part of the situation to address, however, is how the nation’s economy may suffer as a result of the tragic event that occurred this past Saturday.
Given that Nepal is in between India and China, tourism has long since been a huge staple of the South Asia landlocked country. The country also boasts breathtaking mountain scenes and historic sites, amenities that in 2012 brought in over half a million visitors alone. In the past few years, it is worth nothing that political instability and poor infrastructure have led to the decline of the formerly bursting tourism population. However, those interested in mountain climbing, skiing, visiting museums and being exposed to a culture that is not seen in many other places would still make the effort to travel to Nepal in order to gain this experience.
Given the excess amount of damage that the country faced following the disaster in question, it is worth wondering just how much the nation’s already diminishing tourism sector will be affected and how the nation’s economy will suffer as a result. While much effort is being made to repair the country and bring it back to its former glory, tourist season is rapidly approaching and given the extent of the tragedy it is unlikely that things will be entirely back on their feet by the time that various individuals would be coming to see the country’s natural beauty and the like.
Much aid is being given to Nepal by multiple other countries, including Canada and the United Arab Emirates. Care packages and donations are being sent to those in need, and humanitarian aid is also being directly sent to Nepal in order to better help the citizens overcome this tragedy and begin to piece their lives back together. Indeed, even Facebook has launched a campaign to raise money for the country following the devastating earthquake, where users can click on a button that appears as soon as they log into their account which asks them if they are in any way interested in providing assistance to those who were a part of the tragic event.
Nepal’s natural disaster occurred on Saturday, April 25, and the death toll is now said to have reached upwards of 4600 people. There is also said to be over 9000 individuals injured, and a million children are said to be in desperate need of assistance at this point.Reports have gone as far as to state that the possibility of rescuing any potential survivors is diminishing by the hours, as those trapped may have already met their fate due to the severity of the quake in question. Saturday’s natural disaster is said to be the worst the country has faced in over 80 years.
The nation’s troubles even appear to be getting worse, as another natural disaster is said to have occurred today (Tuesday, April 28) in a trekking area north of Kathmandu. Reports have stated that an approximate 200 people were feared missing due to a landslide that occurred in this region. The incident, which occurred in Langtang National Park, was not immediately confirmed by Nepal Home Ministry spokesman Laxmi Dhakal.
One of the main problems that are said to come with assisting those affected by the main disaster in Kathmandu is said to lie with the ability to actually get aid to those who are trapped or injured in remote communities. Officials say that although assistance is readily coming into the country itself, transporting the help and amenities being provided is difficult when it comes to said smaller communities.
In terms of Nepal’s recent devastating earthquake causing a major issue regarding the nation’s economy being affected due to lack of tourism, the description of some of the scenes individuals flock from other country to come and see does not help this concern. Those involved in assisting the nation have reported that multiple temples have been shattered due to the damage the quake caused, as well as the destruction having occurred of several houses along the way. Residents are said to be frightened to stay in many of the remaining standing buildings, as they may be subject to aftershock and end up collapsing themselves. As a result, several large encampments of tents have been set up throughout the capital city, in order to give comfort to those who still need a place to sleep but are not quite ready to move back into a standing residence due to uncertainty that it will remain standing for very long.
The future of Nepal’s tourism economy is, as of right now, up in the air. However, considering how close to the season this earthquake occurred and the difficulty it is taking to rectify things, it is seemingly improbably that things will be put back on their feet before the nation’s economy becomes even more shattered as a result of the recent natural disaster.
By Rebecca Grace
Photo by keso s – Creativecommons Flickr License