This man is a very quiet an unassuming individual – we had he extreme pleasure of meeting and working with Pemba during an expedition that Mal Haskins was leading for Jagged Globe in 2014 in the Dolpa Region of Nepal.
During this expedition Pemba proved to be a very conscientious and trustworthy man with great integrity and moral strength. We had a number of large hurdles to overcome and he was very fundamental is helping us achieve this.
During the Earthquake itself Pemba was working on EVEREST. He was at basecamp and was caught right in the middle of the enormous avalanche of rock, snow and ice that obliterated basecamp. He lost friends and all his equipment. He was involved in helping those around him as he picked himself up and carried on – as many of us did – some more fortunate than others.
It was not long after this, when Pemba had been able to get back down to Kathmandu and check on his family that I heard that he was going to come out and meet us at our Timbu Aid Station! If was amazing as he could immediately slot into leading a few medical teams out into the surrounding hills and guide them.
Then the second EQ hit and this time it effected the Solu Khumbu Region and Pemba’s home village of Khauri Khola (about 1/2 day below Lukla) was badly damaged.
After spending further time assisting us he was able to go and finally check on his village and start to help his own family. We were able to provide his village with the same basic aid building packages that we had been delivering in Timbu – Corrugated Iron, Hammers, Nails, Saws etc.
After Sophie Ward and I had left Nepal in late May we were still in contact with Pemba and he asked if we could help him help his country. In effect everybody who had donated on our donations page was helping him help! Pemba also became partially involved with the World Food Programs – Remote Access Operation and was able to meet up with Sophie Ward when she was back over there last year doing logistics based in the Gorkha Region.
Pemba is still doing small projects to this day. The normal mode of operation for him is that when he is out trekking he comes across remote villages or low caste families that have still not had any help or are living in terrible conditions under tarpaulins or temporary shelters.
Pemba writes to us to let us know what he wants to do and outlines ;
1. The Location and distance of the Village or settlement
2, The Need and amount of Materials he wants to deliver
3. The cost of the materials and the transportation costs involved.
We are then able to allocate funding to him which he is then able to spend directly, get the materials and heads out with them to deliver it to those in need. In many ways its only small drops in the bucket – but its a huge help for those who still are badly effected by the aftereffects of the Earthquake.
WE feel very privileged to know and be associated with Pemba Chongba Sherpa and count him as one of our true friends and colleagues in Nepal.