Recent earthquakes in Nepal have seen more than 8500 people killed and over 20,000 injured. All up over two million people’s lives have been affected; their homes and livelihoods destroyed by the initial quakes in April and aftershocks in the following weeks.
More than a quarter of the 28 million people living in Nepal live under the poverty line; many millions of them live without access to clean water and medical care as well as severely inadequate housing. The poorest masses in Nepal will now be further expected to shoulder the burden of this disaster.
Although the earthquakes and resulting avalanches were a result of natural forces; these injuries and deaths could have been prevented. Geologists have warned the government for years that existing conditions meant that these quakes were a certainty. The government was well aware that the effects would be disastrous, yet made little effort to prepare.
Disasters such as this expose the inability of capitalist governments to protect ordinary people. A socialist government, although unable to prevent natural disasters, would lift the masses out of dire poverty and ensure that adequate measures were put in place to lessen the profound effect of disasters.
By Emma Davey