Nepal

United Nations aid in response to Nepal floods

(New York: 29 August 2006): Heavy monsoon rains have caused floods affecting 13 districts in the mid- and far-western regions of Nepal, particularly affecting the districts of Banke and Bardiya. Nearly 50 deaths have been reported and hundreds of people remain missing.

In Banke district, nearly 6,700 families in 16 villages have been affected by the flooding. Electricity to the district has been cut for the last three days. In Bardiya, some 5,000 families have been affected. Four temporary camps have been established in Banke and eight in Bardiya to shelter those displaced.

Additionally, in the remote district of Achham, one of the worst recorded landslides left 90 per cent of people in the village of Khaptad in urgent need of evacuation. Nepali Army troops reached the area today and have rescued those people trapped by the landslide. In the district of Doti, local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) estimate that some 1,300 families have been affected by the floods, which have swept away much arable land.

Initial assessments indicate that priority needs are for food, clean drinking water, basic shelter materials and mosquito nets. The Nepal Red Cross Society (NRCS) has had search and resuce teams operating round the clock, facilitating evacuations and assisting those most in need with basic shelter supplies including blankets, water jugs, and cooking utensils, as well as food and cash.

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have pre-positioned relief supplies including tarpaulins, blankets and oral rehydration salts in the affected districts. Two UNICEF trucks with water purification materials, household utensils, blankets and tarpaulins have been sent to Nepalgunj, where they will be distributed by the NRCS.

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) organized an information sharing meeting with United Nations agencies, the NRCS and NGOs in both Kathmandu and Nepalgunj, following which a joint inter-agency assessment mission visited some of the most affected areas in Banke and Bardiya districts.

For further information, please call: Stephanie Bunker, OCHA-New York, +1 917 367 5126, mobile +1 917 892 1679; Kristen Knutson, OCHA-New York, +1 917 367 9262; Elisabeth Byrs, OCHA-Geneva, +41 22 917 2653, mobile, +41 79 473 4570. OCHA press releases are available at http://ochaonline.un.org or www.reliefweb.int.

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