Supporting our friends in Nepal

Firefighters being trained in Nepal. They're wearing their firefighter kit, which is all red, and a couple of them are holding hoses whilst the others nearby observe. One of our firefighters is stood amongst them, and one is just off camera helping.

We have been supporting our friends and colleagues in Nepal for more than 10 years. As it's South Asian Heritage Month, we thought it would be a great opportunity to reflect on this journey.

The relationship started when John Monaghan, based in South Devon Group Support, made a chance passing visit to Kathmandu Fire Station in 2009. He saw firefighters using antiquated fire appliances and equipment and responding to fire calls in t-shirts and flip-flops.

On his return to the UK, John started collecting Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that had reached the end of its life to donate to Nepal. Since then, with the assistance of British Gurkhas, John and his colleagues have continued to provide vehicles, PPE, equipment and training.

They have also provided support to the wider community, particularly after the devastating earthquake in 2015 and monsoon flooding.

This includes:

  • fire kit, equipment and vehicles donated to firefighters in many regions of Nepal
  • helping to set up a new fire station at Panchkhal
  • training programmes delivered to firefighters, police, British Gurkhas, and Nepal Army Disaster Relief Battalions
  • Nepali instructors trained to deliver subsequent courses
  • supporting the Sushma Koirala Burns Unit with medical kits
  • working with officials from the United Nations Development Programme, UK Department for International Development, Fire Aid charity, Red Cross, Red Crescent, Nepal Road Safety Society and other partners.

This includes:

  • more than 2,500 Aquabox disaster relief and safe drinking water kits, community water pumps, filters and other equipment, delivered as part of a strategic disaster relief programme
  • flooding equipment including light portable pumps for monsoon floods, also used in camps for Rohingya refugees on the Bangladesh / Myanmar border
  • field shelters and stretchers donated to the Gurkha Welfare Trust to support remote rural medical camps. The shelters have been used for Covid-19 response, isolation, testing and vaccination
  • support for orphanages, including fitting a pump to the local well, repairs to solar panel array, and donations of food, clothes, toys and bedding
  • funding provided for children’s hospital operations and educational funds set up for orphans leaving the institution.

The next trip is planned for later this year or early next year, depending on the Covid-19 situation. Support to be provided includes delivering training courses and further donations of medical aid shelters, Aquaboxes, cutting and other firefighting equipment and burns-related equipment. 

More information is on the Fire Aid website.