Description of the disaster
Floods and landslides during the monsoon affected 72 districts across the country especially in Terai and hilly reasons and rainfall throughout June, July, August and September. The roads blocked due to floods and landslides are being repaired and rehabilitated. The majority of flood and landslide displaced families are returning to their homes. In addition, there was an unexpected outpour of rainfall in late October badly affecting the lives of the people with huge loss of agricultural products, lives and physical properties. According to the data of the Ministry of Home Affairs, between June to 27 October 2021, 673 people have lost their lives, 69 people are missing and 181 people are injured due to the waterinduced disaster.
In the last week of August 2021, rainfall intensified for at least four consecutive days, with many rivers crossing warning levels, causing widespread inundation in many parts of the southern plains and reported incidents of landslides in the hilly region. As a result of this incessant rainfall, 11 districts (Myagdi, Rupandehi, Dang, Darchula, Sindhuli, Nawalparasi East, Nawalparasi West, Kanchanpur, Kailali, Udayapur and Mahottari) and 4,899 families were affected, including 2,129 who were temporarily displaced.
Additionally, unseasonal rainfall spread throughout the country in the second week of October and intensified for at least five days before receding. As a result, many parts of the country were inundated with episodes of reported landslides in the hilly districts. As a result, 17 districts (Baitadi, Bajhang, Dhankuta, Kalikot, Doti, Dadeldhura, Bajhang, Kailali, Ilam, Udaypur, Humla, Mugu, Darchula, Pachthar, Sunsari, Bhojpur and Kanchanpur) and 5,415 families were affected, 3,385 families were displaced, and 2,237 houses were fully damaged according to initial assessments by NRCS.
Disaster impacts - latest rainfall in October
The displaced population is residing in temporary shelters, relatives' homes and schools. There is an immediate need for lifesaving supports such as tarpaulins for emergency shelter, safe drinking water and ready to eat food. In addition, the Initial Rapid Assessment (IRA) shows that affected people need shelter support, drinking water, sanitation facilities, hygiene kits and psychosocial support immediately to fulfil their immediate humanitarian needs. It also shows the special needs for pregnant and lactating women, children, elderly people, people with chronic diseases and disabilities.
Electricity and communication were disrupted and slowly coming back to normal (lack of access still prevalent in some hilly districts such as Bajhang and Baitadi), and roads were blocked due to the floods and landslides in some places. Beyond the shelter and displacement related needs, the main impact for affected householders is on their livelihoods since this unforeseen recent rainfall happened during the end of the festival time and as the harvesting of crops was about to start. In some areas, between 60 to 80 per cent of the harvest was lost as per government preliminary data. According to a WFP 72h assessment report released on 28 October, it is estimated that the food security status of 77,635 people is significantly affected as a result of the flooding, of which 63,897 people, or 11,716 households, need immediate assistance.
Nepal is currently experiencing the second wave of COVID-19, with far greater effects and deaths than last year. As of 26 October 2021, 904,513 people have tested positive. According to a national seroprevalence survey done in July-August 2021, up to 68 per cent of the population may have been exposed. With 11,337 deaths reported, making Nepal among the highest fatality rate in the Asia Pacific when compared to the country’s population. In May 2021, WHO categorized the level of transmission as ‘community transmission’. The vaccination campaign against COVID-19 was initiated on 27 January 2021 followed by an interrupted inflow of vaccines. As of October 2021, about 29.7 per cent of the total population have received the first dose and only 23.1 per cent are fully immunized. With the festivals in October and November 2021, there is a chance for a potential new wave as people will travel back to their hometowns either from abroad or from bigger cities of Nepal. Also, there is a high chance of transmission of COVID-19 infection among the people affected by the flood and landslide either among those staying in home isolation or – most importantly – among those staying in evacuation centres.