Steve-Rowlands-2014_WEBOnly a week to go to the General election and the whole process has been superceded by the tragic disaster in Nepal; an ever-rising death toll and casualty list, and one’s heart can only go out to all those who have been affected.

Having lived through an earthquake of a magnitude of 7.7 in the Solomon islands ( I believe Nepal’s was 7.8) in which very few people were injured and with just one death, one has to ask why the huge difference with Nepal – where, at time of writing, we are looking at possibly 10,000 deaths and tens of thousands of injuries.

I guess the most important difference between Honiara in the Solomon’s in the 1980s and modern-day Kathmandu in Nepal is the size of the buildings. In Honiara no building was more than one story high and most were built of leaves and wood. Looking at the pictures from Kathmandu, most buildings are made of brick and stone and are many stories high.

The acute death toll would be as a direct result of people being injured from falling buildings, and now, more pressingly, aid is required urgently in order to prevent further death and disease from lack of food, water and shelter.

In Wiltshire we have a strong link with Nepal through the Ghurkha regiment based in Tidworth. Our Sarum Group GP colleagues support a community of Ghurkha family members, many of whom have loved ones in Nepal. I would formally like to urge everyone in our CCG to support the Disasters Emergency Committee fund through the easiest and most effective way that we can – by donating money.  Please give what you can – for millions of people, just a few of your donated pounds will mean the difference between life and death.

Donating is easy – just follow this link:

Thank you.