Some Singaporeans donated items 'of no use' to Nepal quake survivors

Expired medicine are among items donated by Singaporeans. -- PHOTO: LIANHE WANBAO 
Expired medicine are among items donated by Singaporeans. -- PHOTO: LIANHE WANBAO 
Mr Edmund Chew received items like expired medicine and puzzle sets – none of which would be of use – in a donation drive for Nepal earthquake survivors. -- PHOTO: LIANHE WANBAO  

SINGAPORE - During a donation drive to collect items for Nepal earthquake survivors, warehouse logistics boss Edmund Chew received old bras, expired medicine, puzzle sets and even expired bird's nest- none of which was any use.

The 60-year-old managing director of Astrans on Wednesday stressed the importance of sending items useful to disaster victims, saying: "They need survival items more urgently.

"If you want to donate in kind, you have to ask yourself whether the items will be beneficial."

Citing examples of what to send, he suggested blankets, sweaters, medication, sleeping bags, tents, torchlights and food like rice or canned items with at least six months until expiry.

The 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit Nepal on April 25, killing more than 7,200 people.

The United Nations has said at least two million people need tents, water, food and medicine over the next three months.

Since the donation drive started right after the quake, about 90 tonnes of items have been collected. So far, about a third have been transported to Nepal.

Around 300 volunteers are involved in sorting out the donated items at the Astrans warehouse in Tuas.

Of everything sent in, only 5 per cent are items of no use to Nepal. Surplus usable stock will be sent to The Salvation Army or old folks' homes.

The donation drive is an initiative by the Consulate of Nepal here, with support from the Rotary E-Club, which Mr Chew belongs to. Rotary Clubs in Nepal will help to distribute the items.

Mr Madhusudan Muljibhai Patel, Consul-General of Nepal in Singapore, said: "Singaporeans have been very magnanimous in offering help, and the Government has also sent help there. There's a lot being done. We really appreciate all the goodwill."

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