Nepal: OCHA Koshi Flood Response Update 16 April 2009

Situation Report
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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) assessment.

Situation Update: The majority of Koshi flood-affected displaced households have returned to their place of pre-flood origin over the past fortnight. An estimated total of 1,240 households (HH) having 3991 population were verified as residing in the remaining 12 camps, over fifty per cent are landless. However, the flood displaced households are returning to the flood-affected land with limited shelter, access to basic facilities or livelihood support. In particular, the households returning to red areas, where once fertile land is covered with several feet of sand brought by the flood waters, require continued relief support. The WSSDO has committed to ensuring tube wells are established throughout the return areas and the DHO committed to reviewing the health centres. A number of livelihood support programmes are also underway. Shelter remains the gap.

Return Package Update: The Assistant Chief District Officer (A.CDO) Sunsari updated the GCM on the progress of the government Return Package. The Government of Nepal Return Package of NPR 50,000 was distributed from 15 March from the District Administrative Office (DAO) Sunsari. A total of 4,600 families applied for the Government Return Package, as of 16 April. A total of 1,914 families from the flood affected area received the sum, as of 16 April. The registration for the Return Package is continuous and opened for the IDPs residing in the Jhumka Camp since 16 April. The A.CDO added that the process of providing return package is rather slow due to insufficient number of staffs in DAO, Government holidays and KVSC strike programme obstructing work.

Protests and Access: The protest programme of the Koshi Victim Struggle Committee (KVSC) continues to obstruct general transport movement along the East-West Highway between Laukhi VDC and the Koshi Barrage in Sunsari District. KVSC warned of further plans to blockade the alternative route of East-West Highway via Kanchanpur-Chatara section. The DAO will meet with the KVSC later this day in an attempt to resolve the current protest problems and re-open the road.

2. Update from Camps

a. Updated Camp Data: IOM completed the re-verification of camps last week, a total of 1,240 households (HH) having 3991 population were verified as residing in the remaining 12 camps with the minimum of 4 families in Mahendra Highway Camp C. Out of this total, 79% of households (HH) are from Shreepur, 17% HHs from Paschim Kusaha and 4% HHs from Haripur VDC. 76% HHs stated they intend to return to their place of pre-flood origin as soon as possible. 99% of the surveyed households have not received the Government Return Package. 92% of residual population are from the red areas and 53% are landless.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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