Succour for Saptakoshi flood victims
KATHMANDU, AUGUST 13
The incessant rainfall in Eastern Nepal from August 2 has caused the Saptakoshi River - the largest river of Nepal - to swell. In the morning of August 3, the Saptakoshi River returned to its original course after 34 years, inundating several settlements in Udayapur and Sunsari districts in Province 1.
The swollen Saptakoshi River eroded the western embankment in Dumribote area, and entered the settlements in wards 1, 2, 3, 8, and 9 of Belaka Municipality in Udaypur and wards 6 and 9 of Barahchhetra Municipality in Sunsari.
Personnel from Nepali Army, Armed Police Force, Nepal Police, volunteers and local people were mobilised for rescue operation. Around 2,500 families had to be relocated to safer places following the flood.
More than 20,000 people were displaced. The rescued people had taken shelter in public buildings such as schools and community buildings.
The water has now started to dry up and most of the families have returned home. However, 67 families are still sheltering in three different locations. Of them, 16 families are in Aadharbhut Primary School in Satpatre in Ward No 3, 25 families are in Koshi Janata Secondary School, and the remaining 26 families are in Kantechauri Shelter House.
As soon as news of the embankment breach circulated, several stakeholders reached the area with rescue, relief and assessment teams. One of the organisations actively participating in rescue, relief and assessment of the flooded area was Volunteer Corps Nepal.
Following the flood, VCN's volunteers were on ground helping relocate the people. The mobile team worked in coordination with the municipality to assess the extent of damage caused by the flood. They have been evaluating the situation together with Municipality Mayor Ashok Karki.
During the evaluation, victims' identification and relief was still going on.
Heavy rainfall on August 6 worsened the damage caused by the Koshi River in wards 1 and 2 of Belaka Municipality.
According to Mayor Ashok Karki, 208 families have been affected in ward 1. Exact data of affected families in ward 2 has not yet been confirmed. "We were on our way to the municipality office in Ramnagar after completing the damage assessment in Ward No 2 caused by the Koshi flood when rainfall occurred on August 6. The intense rainfall caused three rivers on the way to Ramnagar to swell suddenly. Our vehicle could not pass the rivers and we were stuck in Ward No 1. We witnessed the devastation caused by the flooded rivers. It was the largest flood that in that area in 10 years," Mayor Karki said.
VCN and Mayor Karki shared a message from the same place appealing to people to remain safe and cautious during the flood and act with patience.
VCN has responded to the flood caused by the rain on August 6 with food items, kitchen items, hygiene kits, mats and mosquito nets for 25 most affected families and 120 families with food, mats, mosquito nets, buckets and hygiene kits.
The relief was distributed with the financial support of Sowers Action, Hong Kong.