Over 150,000 families have been displaced and at least 141 people killed by severe flooding in Nepal. More than 65,000 homes have been destroyed in the worst floods to affect the country in years.
The Southern belt of Nepal, where most of its agricultural production is based, was worst hit by torrential rain last week.
Eileen Morrow, Concern‘s Country Director in Nepal, witnessed the devastating aftermath first-hand.
“I walked around a village in Laximpur in Rautahat district, one of the worst affected areas in Nepal, and saw collapsed houses. The muddy water line from the flood waters was over six feet high on some of the buildings – including the local school. One woman told me that it was lucky that, like the 2015 earthquake, the floods happened on a Saturday during the day time or they would have lost half their children”, she said.
Livelihoods have also been affected
It is not only people’s homes that have been affected, but also their livelihoods. This will have a huge impact on people’s ability to recover. Eileen described the extent of the damage she witnessed.
“People were trying to dry out their animal food in the streets but they showed me that it was already rotten. Many families lost animals and the air was full of the smell of decomposing livestock – a major health risk. One man showed me his grain store, he told me it used to be full to the brim and then he put his hand in and pulled out nothing but muddy, rotting rice – this family alone lost months’ worth of stored food, animal feed and fuel. Their entire rice crop – which was due to be harvested soon – is still under a foot of water and is ruined”, said Eileen.
Sadly, thousands of households face the same problems in an area of Nepal which already suffers from extremely high rates of malnutrition and chronic poverty.
Unfortunately, it is notoriously difficult to raise funds for flood response, and donors have been slow to provide funds for this particular disaster. However Concern is working hard to provide relief and alleviate the suffering of those affected. Working closely with both local partners and our international aid agency partners from Alliance2015 – People in Need and Welthungerhilfe – we are providing food, water and other aid to the most vulnerable.
Together with our partners we have been packing and distributing food to 11,600 families. We are making sure that families have water purification tablets to prevent the spread of waterborne diseases, a huge risk after flooding of this nature.
We have also set up a helpdesk and free hotline to offer a direct line of contact for flood survivors who are receiving assistance.
As the emergency response progresses and recovery continues, Concern and our Alliance2015 partners will continue to cooperate closely with local governments to ensure that none of the affected households are left behind.
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