Nepal

Nepal: Koshi River Floods in Sunsari and Saptari OCHA Situation Report No. 10

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Highlights:

- Inter-agency assessment reveals more than 72% of the displaced have received assistance, yet only 15% of displaced in host families are being assisted.

- Concerns persist over lack of coherent registration policy, and equitable assistance to displaced in host families.

- Food distributions delayed due to slow delivery from local suppliers.

- Alternate shelter sites still not identified, causing over-crowding in current shelter sites and poor service provision.

I. Situation in Sunsari and Saptari Districts, Eastern Nepal

1) More than a month after the breach of the Koshi River eastern embankment on 18 August, the East West highway still remains impassable. Many displaced families are living along the embankment wall and in neighbouring VDCs of Saptari district (particularly Bhardah and Hanumanagar VDCs) that were not flooded.

2) Nepal Ministry of Foreign Affairs estimates approximately 70,000 people have been affected by flooding in the area. According to the preliminary results of the Multi agency Koshi River Flood Impact assessment, 66,500 individuals have been displaced by the flood, of which 42% are of Indian origin.

3) In Saptari District, according to the latest registration done by the Nepal Red Cross Society (NRCS) volunteers and the District Administration Office (DAO), 20,284 Nepalis (4,186 families) have been displaced. Confirmation of the number of the number of Indians currently receiving humanitarian assistance is ongoing. Data entry for the registration is being done by students from St. Xaviers College and the District Electoral Office. Progress on the same will be available in the first weeks of October.

4) The Sunsari District Government registration report of 21 September mentions 43,917 displaced individuals (7,597 Households) of which 6,576 are Indian Nationals. They are living in 29 recognized camps. The majority of Indians displaced in VDCs south of the highway have returned back to India, though a residual displaced population remains.

5) A new displaced population of approximately 500 people in host families and collective centers in Guski VDC of Sunsari has been identified. Registration and services have not reached this population.

6) Current response priorities include responding to immediate needs such as food, temporary shelter, sanitation facilities, temporary schooling arrangements and protection concerns, especially of women and children. Government cluster leads are taking an active role in the efforts supported by humantiarian agencies.

II. Ongoing Humanitarian Response

7) From 12-17 September, an interagency assessment in all 12 flood-affected VDCs of Sunsari and Saptari districts was conducted to support a humanitarian response plan that complements the government's relief plan. Key findings of the preliminary report include:

- One third of the affected population is Muslim and eighteen percent are Dalits. Of these, only 35% have received a government identity card.

- More than 72% of the displaced people currently receive humanitarian assistance.

- Humanitarian aid is focussed mainly on people based in established camps. Only 15% of the displaced who live with host families are currently being assisted, forcing those living outside camps to find additional coping strategies.

- The acute malnutrition rate among displaced children under 5 years of age is 13% and another third are at risk of being malnourished.

8) On September 30, the District Disaster Relief Committee (DDRC) in Saptari started providing cash support to IDPs to celebrate Dashain and Ramadan-Eid. Families with less than five members received NPR 800 and those with more than five received NPR 1,000. At the OCHA-faciliated coordination meeting on October 2, the DAO reported that 3,500 families had received money . DDRC meetings have been suspended until after Dashain (12 October).

9) Actors on the ground: At the central level, the Central Natural Disaster Relief Committee (CNDRC) oversees the process of flood response from the Government of Nepal. A Regional Disaster Relief Committee as well as District Disaster Relief Committees (DDRC) in both Sunsari and Saptari supports the CNDRC.

10) OCHA has prepared a Who What Where Report for both Sunsari and Saptari Districts. This report is available on the OCHA website <www.un.org.np>.

11) NFI: Saptari - NRCS so far distributed a total of 4,437 cooking utensils in camps A, B, C and D. Camp E will soon receive the sets. Norwegian Refugee Council is to provide 100 NFI sets through NRCS. Gaps still exist in distribution, especially families from India, who have reportedly received food but do not have utensils to do cooking.

12) Firewood distribution was completed in camp A, B and D1. A total of 1,352 families received 25 kg (estimated for 10 days). A second round of distribution in camp A, B and C is scheduled for this week as well as to other planned camps. Firewood is collected from local Community Forest Users Groups by the Department of Forestry and distributed in the camps by the Camp Management Committees. A total of 2,851 families reiceved battery lights in camps D1, D2, I, J, K and L.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.