This Koshi Flood Response Update is based on information received from the weekly Koshi Flood General Coordination Meeting, chaired by the Sunsari Chief District Officer (CDO), Government of Nepal District Offices, UN Agencies and relief partners.
1. General Situation Update
Background: Approximately 42,807 Nepalese (7,572 households) were affected by the Koshi floods in Sunsari and Saptari Districts on 18 August 2008, in addition to an estimated 11,000 Indian nationals (2,328 households), according to the Government of Nepal (GoN).
Situation Update: The majority of Koshi flood-affected displaced households returned to their area of pre-flood origin. However, the flood displaced households from the heavily sanded areas returned with limited shelter, access to basic facilities including drinking water or livelihood support. The WSSDO has committed to establish tube wells throughout the return areas. The District Health Office (DHO) committed to ensuring that health services will be adequately provided in all areas and stated that no further human resources or medicines are required for the general treatments. However, given the severity of the impact of the living conditions, intensive health monitoring is required. Shelter remains the gap and there is an increase of health concerns with the worsening weather conditions, in particular for infants and the elderly. Sanitation also remains a gap in return areas.
Cash-for-Food Update: From 27 April, the DDRC Sunsari provided the Cash-for-Food for the Koshi flood affected families of Shreepur 1-9 and Paschim Kusaha 3, 4. Total of 4,506 households received the Cash-for-Food, as of 6 May. DDRC provided the Cash-for-Food with the norms of NPR 1,000 per family member to households with less than five members, families with more than five members received a lump sum of NPR 5075.00. DAO Sunsari is planning to complete the distribution of Cash-for-Food by 8 May 2009.
Return Package Update: The process of distributing the government Return Package of NPR 50,000.00 was postponed from 27 April, as the District Administrative Office (DAO) Sunsari prioritised the provision of Cash-for-Food, given the dire situation for the families unable to procure food, in particular families from the red zone and those residing in the camps. The distribution of the Return Package will resume after the completion of the Cash-for-Food distribution, expected to be from 10 May that will be decided by the meeting with local political parties organized by DAO on 7 May. A total of 5,961 families applied for the Government Return Package, as of 6 May. A total of 2,071 families (Green zone: 1500, yellow zone: 571 families) from the flood affected area received the sum, as of 6 May.
Government Compensation Package: The government approved a total of NPR 1608.2975 million to compensate damaged buildings, land and crops, as well as fund to support landless to procure land and compensation for deaths that occurred in camps. The DAO Sunsari will distribute the compensation package when the Government releases the budget. A District Technical Team, including District Land Survey Office and District Land Revenue Office, has started to delineate the damaged land in the red zone of the flooded area from 6 May.
Relocation/Camp Consolidation: The DUDBC and IOM completed the site planning of Lauki Border Custom Camp and Khuniyadhar Camp for possible relocation of the flood-affected displaced from Sunsari Khola and Nahar Chowk Camps, which are mostly landless households. The capacity of the camps is an additional 200 households (HHs) in Khuniyadhar camp and 275 HHs in Lauki Border Custom Camp. However, only 22 HHs in Khuniyadhar Camp and 110 HHs in Lauki Border Custom Camp can be accommodated with the existing households residing in the camps. The study noted that the current total of displaced from Jhumka and Sunsari Khola Camp cannot be accommodated in the above mentioned two camps. There is also need to re-organize the camps, raise the platform of the tents, provide protection such as drainage facilities along the side of tents, river flow protection in the camps against flash flood and heavy rainfall, and a need to provide electricity facilities in the relocation camps.
It is anticipated that the execution of the GoN Compensation Package will be delayed to some extent due to present political situation in Nepal. Based on this scenario, the meeting decided to consolidate Sunsari Khola Camp into Lauki Border Custom Camp by next week since Sunsari Khola Camp is highly vulnerable to re-flooding, hazardous to health and majority of the flood-affected are landless. The WASH cluster will ensure the necessary arrangements are in place regarding water and sanitation facilities before the relocation takes place. Transportation will be managed from DDRC budget and NRCS will provide tarpaulins. There is a need for an active information dissemination and interaction with the floodaffected displaced families to ensure households are informed of options.
Shelter/NFI: NRCS Sunsari will distribute tarpaulin to replace the damaged shelters in camps based on the re-verification data provided by CCCM this week. UN Habitat will follow up the NRCS for the distribution of the tarpaulin.
Landlessness: The estimated number of flood-affected landless household is 1,422 families. The Assistant Chief District Officer (ACDO) stated the need of re-verification of the number of landless households, as this figure will possibly decrease. Since the landless are illegible to purchase 2 Kattha of land under the compensation package, there needs a durable solution which will require a guideline or detailed approach for purchasing land to landless. The DAO will meet with Local Political Parties for a consensus on the approach on 7 May.
Health Service in Return Areas: There was a lapse in the provision of health services, in particular in the red areas where children, pregnant women and elderly are particularly vulnerable to the harsh weather conditions. Flood-affected families commonly suffer from sand in the air (from winds), cough and fever, eye infections, diarrhoea, skin infections. On 6 May, the District Health Office (DHO) committed to ensuring that health services will be adequately provided in all areas and stated that no further human resources or medicines are required for the general basic treatments. However, given the severity of the impact of the living conditions, intensive health monitoring and follow-up is recommended from the meeting for the effective and efficient service delivery.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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