POLITICS

DART packing up, heading home from Nepal after last month's devastating quakes

05/28/2015 04:57 EDT | Updated 05/28/2016 05:59 EDT
OTTAWA - Canada's Disaster Assistance Response Team is leaving Nepal after a month of work in the earthquake-shattered country.

The military team will turn over its base camp to non-governmental organizations.

The departure comes after the Canadian government, the United Nations and Nepal concluded there is no longer a critical need for foreign military assets on the ground.

The day after the devastating April 25 temblor, Canada sent a reconnaissance team and members of the DART to assess conditions.

Within days, military C-17 transports flew in personnel and equipment to aid in the recovery efforts.

The DART focuses on water purification, initial, primary medical care and engineering support.

In Nepal, the Canadian team treated more than 700 patients, distributed 75 water filtration units and provided access to clean, safe drinking water for approximately 3,400 people.

It also provided 750 maps and visuals to the Nepalese and foreign militaries and to non-governmental and UN agencies. Its engineers removed about 720 dump-truck loads of rubble and also cleared roads.

Canada has also contributed $10 million to relief efforts; the government matched donations made to Canadian charities for Nepal between April 25 and May 25.

"The Canadian Armed Forces have done us proud in their humanitarian work to help the people of Nepal recover from last month's terrible earthquake," Defence Minister Jason Kenney said in a statement.

Foreign Affairs Minister Rob Nicholson also praised the military effort.

"While humanitarian needs still persist, the progress made by the DART, working closely with the government of Nepal and our international partners, has made a significant impact on the lives of the Nepalese people."