Nepal earthquake: Little food, less optimism in Kathmandu tent city

Story highlights

  • Residents fear they will be stuck in the tent city for a long time
  • Parents wonder where the next meal will come from

Kathmandu, Nepal (CNN)With each passing day, the sprawling tent city in Kathmandu's Tundikhel feels less like a temporary solution and more like a permanent residence.

Days after the earthquake struck Nepal, hundreds in the makeshift encampment fear they will be stuck here much longer.
    Sturdy military tents ring the outside of the ground, stretching up to Ratna Park, but no such structure exists within the middle of the field. Here there are just tarps and bamboo poles.
    Inside, families have set up propane tanks and stoves to cook whatever food they have. They pass the time however they can, knowing they have no home to which they can return.
    Some homes were destroyed in the earthquake. Others suffered structural damage and are effectively unlivable.
    As international aid trickles into Nepal, the citizens of Tent City wait for it to make its way to them.
    Many have lost faith in their own government to provide help and food. Instead, they believe their best hope lies with the supplies and aid pouring in from overseas.
    Children play cricket or soccer in open areas of the park offering a bit of laughter at time of great difficulty. Their parents, meanwhile, wonder where the next meal will come from. And when it will come.

    Coming back to life

    Outside the walls of Tundikhel, life is beginning to return to normal.
    The streets were empty for days following the quake. Now they are beginning to come back to life. Small groups work together to clear sidewalks and roads of rubble after the earthquake.
    Cars and motorbikes buzz down the streets, while shops reopen for business. Street vendors are out, and the city looks alive once again.
    But the bustling streets end abruptly at the gate. There are few signs of activity here, as families wait for some change in the status quo. They could bear life in the tent city for a few days, but that few days looks very much like it will turn into a few weeks or longer.
    Life is difficult here, and it shows no signs of improving.