Nepal

Nepal: Floods OCHA Situation Report No. 2

Source
Published
Ref: OCHA/GVA - 2006/0172
OCHA Situation Report No. 2
Nepal - Floods

This situation report is based on the information received from the OCHA Office in Katmandu.

Situation

1. Heavy monsoon rains have caused floods and landslides in the mid and far western regions of Nepal. To date it is estimated that at least 13 districts have been affected, the worst hit being Banke, Bardya and Achham.

2. Available assessments from the District Government offices, the Nepali Red Cross Society (NRCS), OCHA field office and a number of NGOs active in the disaster areas indicate that over 47 persons have lost their lives, hundreds are still to be accounted for, over 5,000 persons have been successfully evacuated and temporarily resettled, tens of thousands are considered to be affected and a worrying unknown number of persons are thought to still be trapped in their houses or neighboring locations awaiting urgent assistance. Rain has not ceased rendering the critical search and rescue efforts carried out mainly by government institutions and the NRCS especially difficult. For instance 11 Village Development Councils (VDCs) in Rajapur area (Bardya) are still completely out of contact.

3. The information available from the different teams in the field is changing rapidly as the assessment capacity increases and access to remote locations is gained. The information available for the time being may not reflect the full scope of the disaster and the numbers of the affected population may well increase as the information from the remote VDCs reaches the district headquarters.

4. At the time of this reporting available assessments indicated that food items as well as safe water, mosquito nets and basic shelter material are a priority. The NRCS has requested around USD 7.1 million to finance their initial operation in Banke, Achham and Bardya.

5. Data on families in urgent need is still being collected but data available referred to Bardyia where 5,000 families, 6,700 families in Banke have been displaced and Achham with 800 persons affected. Although no specific needs have yet emerged, organizations active in the field recommended the set up of disease surveillance to track incidence of water borne disease to ensure response, if needed, will be timely.

6. Organisations agreed that it is to be expected that as the water levels start decreasing the displaced population will start returning to their homes when housing damage assessments will be required. Meanwhile the NRCS found that in the areas mostly affected by inundation, with the decrease of the water level food stock damages will emerge, forcing people to seek assistance elsewhere.

7. The need for refurbishment of emergency stocks was also highlighted in light of the persistent monsoon season that may continue causing flooding over the coming weeks.

National Response

8. To date the NRCS has been systematically responding to the emergency throughout the affected region. Search and rescue teams are working round the clock, facilitating the evacuations and helping those most in need with basic shelter items including blankets, water jugs, cooking utensils as well as food and cash.

9. Nepali Army Divisional Commands from both the Mid and Far Western Regions have also deployed their troops to access particularly isolated areas. Acchham was successfully reached today and the troops managed to rescue the population that had been caught between landslides. The injured were helped by a medical team accompanying the NA and food was distributed to the affected population.

10. Since yesterday the Home Minister has been visiting the disaster affected areas to assess the damage, identify the needs of the population and put in place a realistic response plan.

11. In Bardya a total of eight temporary camps have been spontaneously established for the displaced population. Similarly, in Banke a total of four such camps have already been set up.

12. The need to raise awareness on disaster management procedures and coordination among the donor and media community was vividly pointed out pointed out during the Kathmandu coordination meeting.

International Response

13. UNICEF Kathmandu has already sent to Nepalgunj two trucks with water purification materials, household utensils, blankets and tarpaulin sheets. These vital relief items will be distributed by the NRCS. In meantime, UNICEF is also preparing basic hygiene kits expected to be sent out early next week. RRN, a national NGO, has also dispatched a truck of similar non food items to the disaster area.

14. A number of I/NGOs including CARE, Oxfam, Save the Children US, IRC, Caritas, World Vision and ActionAid have in some cases pre-positioned relief items in the different districts and all of them have expressed readiness to support the operation based on needs.

15. UNDP, WFP and WHO have expressed their capacity to support the relief efforts as soon as the gaps are clearer.

16. As reported by WHO, the epidemiology and disease control division in Kathmandu maintains contact with the far west, mid west and western affected districts' health officers and districts' public health officers requesting they assess and report back on the potential emerging needs. No request for external assistance has been made yet.

17. In terms of the distribution and implementation of the relief efforts, all UN agencies and I/NGOS active in Nepal have agreed to channel all relief material through the NRCS.

18. An information sharing meeting with UN agencies, the Red Cross and key I/NGOs was organized by OCHA in both Kathmandu and Nepalgunj office. Following the Nepalgunj meeting, an inter-agency mission visited some of the most affected VDCs in Banke and Bardya districts including a temporary settlement in Banke where 300 persons are taking shelter.

19. OCHA is in close contact with its office in Katmandu and will revert with further information as it becomes available. This situation report, together with further information on ongoing emergencies, is also available on the OCHA Internet Website at http://www.reliefweb.int.

Map: Nepal: Floods - Situation map

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Press contact:

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UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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