Description of the disaster
The monsoon rain that started from the last week of June has triggered flooding and landslides in many parts of the country. However, the rainfall became more intense in the second week of July 2020. Although the rainfall was diluted in the third week of July, it has now intensified with reported incidents of floods and landslides in many parts of the country. As a result, many rivers have crossed the warning level and are expected to cross the danger level with high chances of inundation. The incessant rainfall since 28 July in Kailali district has caused inundation that has affected hundreds of households. As of 29 July 2020, 141 people have lost their lives, mostly due to landslide in hilly districts, with at least another 57 missing1 . According to the NRCS situation report as of 30 July 2020, 15,307 families (76,735 people) have been affected in various districts and 7,106 families (35,530 people) have been displaced which is presented in table 1 below. There are crucial needs for shelter items, food items and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services in the affected districts. In addition, in case of inundation in the terai region (lowland region bordering the Indian border) due to the excessive rainfall, there is a high risk of waterborne disease outbreaks.
A total of 37 incidents of landslides that occurred since June 2020 has swept away many houses in specific pocket areas in 22 districts and has affected families that are now staying with their relatives, many of them are staying in nearby schools and other temporary shelters. As a result, shelter items remain one of the top priority needs in affected areas. Likewise, displaced families have lost their water points and sanitation facilities which may aggravate additional risk of health as well as water-borne diseases. Health, clean drinking water, sanitation facilities, livelihood promotion, protection along with health and hygiene promotion support is needed in the landslide affected areas.
The heavy rainfall that started on 28 July has inundated three municipalities of Kailali district, displacing 2,617 families (13,085 people) who are living in other safe areas out of their villages until water recedes. The government and NRCS along with other agencies are engaged in relief services by providing shelter items, hygiene items, and health related activities. However, there is a huge need for integrated response services focusing for shelter, health, WASH and protection in order to meet immediate humanitarian needs of the affected population in the area.
NRCS has deployed at least 85 trained volunteers on the ground to provide various immediate response like initial assessment, search and rescue, first aid, evacuation and immediate relief as needed. NRCS volunteers are also mobilized by all affected NRCS district chapters and are working continuously together with local authorities to conduct an Initial Rapid Assessment (IRA) and relief distribution as well as support communities to be safe and prepared for the worsening floods.
NRCS is also working together with the government, Movement partners and other organizations in COVID-19 preparedness and response operation. This changing context also increases the risks of COVID-19 spread. The events of floods and landslides are currently in pocket areas and are localized in the districts. Considering the scale of disaster and its impact, NRCS has requested a Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) activation in order to provide support to the affected population. NRCS will implement the activities supported by this DREF allocation in close coordination with the local authorities.
The floods and landslides have damaged infrastructures such as roads connecting district headquarters to the affected municipalities and local markets as well as to livestock, agricultural land and crops, and daily consumables.
According to the weather forecast by Government of Nepal’s Department of Hydrology and Meteorology, the heavy rainfall that started from 28 July may cause an increased water level in most of the major rivers in the country, possibly having high flow reaching to warning level or even crossing the warning level in Province 1, Province 2, Province 4 (Gandaki), Province 5 and Province 7 (Sudur Paschim). In addition, the department has issued warning for possible flash floods in small rivers in the said provinces.
Families displaced by the floods and landslides are taking shelter in evacuation centres, schools and relatives' homes. Refer to table 1 for further information. The disaster has damaged infrastructures such as roads connecting district headquarters to the affected village rural municipalities, bridges, culverts, local markets, transport vehicles as well as livestock, crops and daily consumables. This has created additional challenges to transport relief items to the affected areas. The continuous rainfall has also disturbed telecommunication networks in a few remote areas. The drinking water supply system has also been damaged, which has affected water supply to 70 households in different places of Sindhupalchok district.