Nepal earthquake: Mountain to climb for relief operation

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionJustin Rowlatt joined an aid team delivering supplies to one of Nepal's most remote areas

There is growing criticism of the aid effort here in Nepal, but don't underestimate the challenges facing the government and aid organisations - this has to be one of the most difficult places on earth to organise a relief operation.

Nepal is a mountain nation. Eight of the of the world's 10 highest peaks are here, including, of course, Mount Everest.

I got a vivid glimpse of just how hard it can be to get help to earthquake victims when I flew on an Indian Air Force helicopter on one of the first aid flights to one of the most isolated settlements in the country.

Borong is perched on a mountain shoulder way up in the foothills of the Himalayas, surrounded by snowy peaks.

For a few minutes we circled around the wrecked village, searching for a space to bring the aircraft down. It began to look as if the helicopter would not be able to offload its precious cargo of medicines, food and plastic sheeting.

In the end, the pilot decided the only option was to hover just above the paddy fields and throw out the boxes and sacks. Some smashed and others tumbled down the steep slopes, but the villagers were grateful.

We jumped down to talk to them while the aid was offloading. One man told me that every house in the village had been wrecked. He said they had no shelter and little food.

The UN estimates that half-a-million people are sleeping out in the open. Disease could easily rip through the country.

And now the weather too is against the aid effort. The monsoon rains are on the way.