Landslides and Floods Bring Destruction
Landslides and Floods Bring Destruction

While Nepal’s farmers depend on the monsoon for rain for the rice crop,
they also know – and fear – the destruction that it can bring. The
steep, unstable Himalayan slopes, weakened by drenching rain, can
collapse in seconds into roaring walls of mud and stone, sweeping away
everything in their paths.

That’s what happened on 2 August,
when half a mountain fell away in Sindhupalchowk. Several villages
disappeared into the mud – 156 people are presumed dead (only 33 bodies
have been recovered), 27 are injured, and 436 people have lost their
homes, fields and animals – everything they possess. The landslide
dammed the rain-swollen Sunkoshi River. With the lake behind the
unstable wall filling with run-off, villages and towns downstream were
evacuated. The Army has been working to dig release channels for the
water, but the work is difficult and dangerous.
organisations have provided support in this area, and as it is not a UMN
working area, we are limiting our response. One special contribution we
can make is through the Mental Health Network. Experience has shown
that, following disasters of this kind, opportunities for people to work
through their grief, fear and sense of loss in a supportive environment
really help recovery. So we are planning to work with the Network and
local groups to provide psycho-social counseling and support, once the
immediate danger is past.

Incessant rain in the Far West has
resulted in flooding and landslides in Kailali, Bardiya, Banke, Surkhet.
Dang and Siraha Disticts.As of 24 August, at least 123 people are
believed dead, 67 injured, and 121 missing. Around 24,430 families have
been affected and 12,014 displaced*. UMN is in close contact with
International Nepal Fellowship (INF has a number of projects in the
area) and Nepal Christian Relief Services (NCRS), who work through local
churches to provide disaster relief. For example, Grace Church in
Nepalgunj is providing food packages for about 250 families. UMN plans
to contribute around NRP 1,257,457 (USD 13,000) in this area, and may
commit more, depending on reports from our friends and partners.

rainfall in Rukum District, Western Nepal, has triggered landslides and
flooding in that hilly area. Thirteen VDCs are affected, including
several in which UMN’s partners are active. About 94 household are
affected, with three lives being lost that we know of. Through its
partners and in collaboration with local authorities, UMN will be
providing emergency food relief for these families over the next month.
This is logistically very difficult, as affected areas are remote,
without road access. We are still unsure about the numbers of people
affected, as reports are yet to come in from distant villages. At
present, UMN is providing 30kg of rice per household (other
organisations are providing pulses, oil, salt and non-food relief
items). It is likely that our support for this area will increase as
information becomes available.

Please pray for the families and
communities affected by these disasters, and for UMN and partner staff
and the people of local churches, as they seek to relieve suffering and
begin the process of rehabilitation.

Government reports, NRCS, UN agencies and NGOs.

Sunkoshi Flood photo by Rup Chandra Maharjan

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