Floods and landslides have hit southern Nepal over the past week, causing 123 deaths. At least 35 people are missing, while thousands of houses were inundated across the Terai, the southern portion of the country. The disaster has so far affected more than 1 million people, according to the Office of the Resident Coordinator Nepal. Farmers report that the rains have destroyed at least 80% of the region’s arable land.
With water levels continuing to rise across the country, and heavy rain in the forecast, authorities expect Nepal’s death toll to rise. Displaced people have been suffering from various infections due to contaminated drinking water and environmental pollution caused by the floods. Water borne diseases, fever, common cold, gastritis, conjunctivitis and skin infections are common among the flood victims. Children, women, older people and people with disabilities are particularly vulnerable to disease and food shortages.
Floods also caused the loss of material goods, the destruction of homes and the displacement of people to temporary shelters.
“Handicap International is committed to providing assistance to the most vulnerable population affected by the floods in close coordination with local authorities and other humanitarian agencies”, says Willy Bergogne, HI head of mission in Nepal.
Handicap International is currently working on a joint intervention with Christian Aid in two of the most affected districts. The intervention will include Non Food items distribution, like hygiene kits, shelter and unconditional cash transfers, in close collaboration with the Government and local stakeholders.
Handicap International has worked in Nepal for 17 years, with around 80 staff. It responded to the needs of the victims of the earthquake that struck Nepal in April 2015, which killed more than 8,000 people and injured 22,000 others.