China / Government

Official says China's 'precious' help after quake still important

By Xinhua in Kathmandu (China Daily) Updated: 2015-05-20 07:35

China has helped Nepal in disaster relief and rescue operations since the devastating earthquake on April 25, and the country now looks forward to more help from China during its reconstruction, one of the country's leading politicians said.

K P Sharma Oli, chairman of Nepal's second-largest party, the CPN-UML, said from his residence: "In such a situation, when all of Nepal was in crisis, in trouble, in sorrow, China supported us with rescue teams, medical teams and relief materials."

Oli added that Chinese rescuers had saved the lives of some people buried under debris, and "that is very precious and very important".

The earthquake and ensuing aftershocks have left nearly 9,000 people dead and destroyed or damaged tens of thousands of houses, including Oli's office.

Oli, who was elected party chairman last July, said Nepal has also asked China to help construct or reconstruct houses and schools.

As the rainy season draws near in the Himalayan country and many people still sleep outdoors, Oli said there is an urgent need for zinc sheets and tarpaulins so the quake-stricken people still living outside "can make a roof and construct temporary shelters or houses".

Material support for items such as blankets, raincoats, tarpaulins, tents or zinc sheets were the "immediate relief" that was needed, he said. "This is not only a task of millions but of billions. ... We need such a huge amount so we have to get support from friends."

Building houses as permanent homes, Oli said, will be another phase that would take 20 to 30 years.

Commenting on fears that there could be an outbreak of diseases after the quakes, he said: "I think we are able to protect ourselves from such diseases."

Nepalese medical workers, alongside the Ministry of Health and Population, have worked hard where the risk of epidemic outbreak is highest because of dead cattle and other domestic animals, as well as human bodies, are buried deep in debris, Oli said.

"Also I would like to thank the Chinese medical team and medical teams from other countries who worked very hard," he said.

The risk of an epidemic is "under control because of the conscientious efforts of the doctors and teams," he said.

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