#NepalFloods2017 What The Government Is Doing, How The Public Can Help

Following three days of continuous rains with extreme rainfall recorded in some areas, the country has finally moved towards disaster monitoring and relief efforts.

Torrential rains since Friday evening have so far claimed 57 lives, with Sunsari district in East Tarai witnessing the highest number at 8. As yet, 80 livestock are reported to have also been killed.

On Sunday, Home Minister Janardan Sharma, along with other government officials inspected the flood-affected areas in West Nepal and directed concerned authorities to begin relief efforts to help both affected and vulnerable communities in low-lying areas. Minister Sharma also visited the communities in Rapti, Babai, and Gulariya in the Mid-Western region. He is planning to visit East Nepal as well.

Shankar Acharya, Chief of National Emergency Operation Center under the Home Ministry said the district disaster relief committees in all concerned districts have been directed to respond quickly and effectively to help affected communities. The Ministry of Health that is responsible for overseeing the potential risk of epidemic after flood disasters, has been told to prepare medical standby teams equipped with medicine to be mobilised in affected areas.

A meeting chaired by Minister for Agricultural Development (MoAD) on Sunday decided to form a team headed by directors from regional agriculture offices to carry out damage assessment of infrastructure as well as food supply over the next three days. Similarly, the Department of Agriculture has been directed to come up with plans and programmes that can be implemented as early as possible to address the adverse impact on the agriculture sector from rain-induced disasters.

Nepal Telecom, the national telecommunications service provider, announced all SMS on their network would be free of charge until Tuesday night.

 

#NepalFloods2017

As intense monsoon rain continues for a third consecutive day triggering landslides in the hills and inundation in the southern plains, individuals and organisations have once again taken the lead and sprung into action to help thousands of people affected by the floods.

With the hashtag #NepalFloods2017, youth groups have started appealing for help and collecting emergency relief materials like food, medicines, and tents/tarps for affected communities. Facebook and Twitter groups have been created to gather emergency relief materials and raise funds for affected families.

An “Alliance for Disaster Relief for Terai Floods” put this statement out, this evening:

2017 Monsoon Relief

Sumana Shrestha, founder of Carpool Kathmandu, has initiated ‘2017 Monsoon Relief’- a ‘collaboration platform for people to share information and resources, and to work together to provide relief to the flood victims’.

Volunteers can sign up as well and find other volunteers for relief operation. The platform provides information about the affected areas, relief materials collection point, distribution plans, individuals leading the team in the field, and materials required. Here is the link for further details: 2017 Monsoon Relief

Fill The Bucket

Journalist Arpan Shrestha, is once again spearheading the coordination of the Fill the Bucket campaign, an initiative for the collection and transportation of emergency relief materials. The campaign was first launched during the 2014 monsoon floods. This time, he is being helped by Sanam Chitrakar of Ventures Café. People can drop off buckets to the following places, but Shilpi Theater is the preferred drop-off point due to the large space available for collection.

Suggested buckets for flood relief.

SMS Based Help Desk

Samathanepal, Janata Clinic, and Sparrow SMS have been running a help desk for locating people who need help in areas that are affected. People can seek help, volunteering opportunities, important supplies/equipment for relief operation. One can do this by typing
HELP <YOUR LOCATION> <YOUR MESSAGE> and sending the SMS to 37001. For details: http://help.samarthanepal.org/reports/

Other Efforts To Join:

YUWA Nepal, a youth organisation, has been collecting relief materials at its office in Maharajgunj. Contact 014419485, 4418747

Terai Human Rights Defenders Alliance (THRD Alliance) has appealed to individuals, organisations, and donors for humanitarian aid for flood-affected people during the emergency period. You can make the deposit in two ways:

Option 1:
Account Name: THRD Alliance
Ac no.: 14000100729860000003
A/C Type: Current
Bank: Prabhu Bank Limited
Branch: Koteshwor
Option 2: Cash
Name: Dipendra Das/THRD Alliance
Contact: 9814827621
Option3: Paypal
One can request for the update on their excel sheet.

Make a Difference (MAD), a Facebook group, is leading a medical team to Jhapa. For further detail (phone):

  • Karan Neupane: 9801196388
  • Abii Nash: 9810532803
  • Bhawana Raut: 9824094935

Nepal Photo Project, a group of photographers, has also appealed to the public to post pictures with the hashtag #nepalphotoproject #nepalflood2017. This can be a way to locate affected people and map out disaster-hit areas. This method was used during the earthquake relief period too.

Support Lines:

For those in Biratnagar, here are some emergency support numbers:
9802775960 | 9801722646 | 9802749913

  • Abhinash Thapa 9804304044
  • Deepesh Dhimal & Sabin Dahal 9802731033
  • Abhishek K Bhattarai 9825322392
  • Bibek Lamichhane 9800985155
  • Bibek Dahal 9802747310
  • Sagar Senchuri 9811389036

Youth Experienced in Disaster Aid

Through a series unfortunate natural disaster events and the government’s slowness in relief efforts, a segment of Nepali youth volunteers have acquired through trial and error, skills in relief operations. These operations began most notably during the 2014 monsoon floods and peaked after the devastating 2015 earthquake. According to the Association of Youth Organisations Nepal (AYON), more than 50,000 youth volunteers from Kathmandu valley alone, comprising mostly of college students and school children had joined the rescue and relief operations carried out by various youth groups, non-governmental organisations, and international organisations in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake that left almost 9,000 dead and half a million families homeless.

While the government has deployed resources for rescue operation while still on disaster evaluation mode, it is yet to come up with a relief support package for the thousands affected since Friday.

Above: On Saturday evening, August 12, the Prime Minister led an emergency meeting on the ongoing deadly floods in Nepal. Photo: Roshan Sapkota/RSS

Top: An ariel view of flooded land is seen at Dhanusha District, Nepal, Sunday, Aug. 13, 2017. Landslides and flooding triggered by heavy rain have killed dozens of people in southern Nepal and thousands are homeless, police said Sunday.
Photo: AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha

Forecast

The flood forecast bulletin released by DHM on Sunday morning states heavy rainfall expected in Central Nepal, in the districts of Rautahat, Sarlahi, Makwanpur, Bara, Parsa, Chitwan, Nawalparasi, Rupandehi, Kapilvastu and Bagmati along the river basins including East Rapti, Riu Khola, Binay Khola, Arun Khola, Tinau, and Bangganga. These areas are under high risk as heavy rains are expected until Monday morning.

Likewise, moderate to heavy rains are expected in many places in East Nepal: In Jhapa, Ilam, Sunsari, Morang, Saptari, Udaypur, Janakpur and Dhankuta districts along the rivers namely Mechi, Ninda, Biring, Kankai, Pathari, Triyuga, Budhi khola, Ratu and Kamala.

“Some parts of Eastern and most parts of Central Nepal are still under the influence of active monsoon bringing heavy rains until Monday,” said Binod Parajuli, a hydrologist at DHM.