Koshi flood disaster in Nepal
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Eastern Nepal
In Eastern Nepal, the Koshi River erupted from its embankment and carved a channel of destruction. To date, 107,200 people have been affected and 44,000-70,000 people are displaced by the country's worst flooding in five decades. Over 9,000 hectares (approximately 107,600 square feet) of rice paddy, sugar cane, corn, and jute (used to make burlap) have been destroyed. In the Sunsari District, the village development committees (VDC) of Sripur, Haripur, and West Kusah were totally destroyed. The VDCs of Laukahi and Narsingh were partially destroyed.

Heavy rains during monsoon season and lack of repair caused the embankment to collapse at mid-day Monday, August 18. People escaped with just the clothes they were wearing. The death toll would have been very high if the flood had occurred at night. Continuing rains keep the Koshi River above flood level.

Many roads are now under water--15 kilometers (approximately nine miles) of the east-west highway are impassable and three kilometers (approximately two miles) are destroyed. Traveling to Kathmandu from the east is not possible and people must detour 32 hours into India. All commerce in the flooded area has been stopped.

Thirty-three camps for the displaced have been established. The largest camp is at Jamia Islamic Madarsa Bhokra--9 in the Sunsari District. This camp is refuge for 5,000 who are displaced. There are 433 families in this camp sharing 200 tents. This camp is challenged with lack of sanitation (there are only four latrines) and lack of potable water. There is great concern for the nutrition of all, but especially 114 pregnant women, 155 breast-feeding babies, and 31 handicapped.

At the Madarsa camp, Dilli Subba of Nazarene Compassionate Ministries (NCM) interviewed Islamia Miya. Miya a man of 47 years. He lost three cows, two ox, nine ducks, 15 chicken, two male buffalo, and three goats. His nine acres of rice paddy were totally destroyed along with 1,250 kilograms (approximately 2,755 pounds) of rice, 600 kilograms (approximately 1,322 pounds) of wheat, and 56 kilograms (approximately 123 pounds) of vegetables. Miya was unable to rise from a straw mat as he was experiencing excruciating abdominal pain.

Tahir Ansari, from west Kushah, sleeps on the elevated road overlooking the remains of his house. The Koshi River is currently running through his house at a depth of five feet. He has lost two 55 gallon barrels of harvested rice, one barrel of wheat and 280 kilograms (approximately 617 pounds) of jute. The flood has destroyed three acres of rice paddy on his land and one acre of rice paddy he planted as a sharecropper. Ansari's family is in a displacement camp, but he remains on the roadside protecting what is left of his home from thieves.  

The government intends to consolidate the 33 camps into a large resettlement area. The land is roughly 20 acres and is located in the Singia VDC. The relocation is expected to relieve the schools of the displaced people soon. NCM-Nepal is currently developing a post relocation action plan to assist the recovery.

World Mission Director Louie E. Bustle said, "Please join with me in lifting our brothers and sisters in prayer as they struggle through this disaster. We must continue to respond with love and compassion."

A donation account has been established through Nazarene Compassionate Ministries in the General Treasurer's Office. All funds should be forwarded noting the account "South Asia Flood Relief AMC1549" to the General Treasurer, 6401 The Paseo, Kansas City, MO 64131. Those desiring to send funds after September 10, 2008, please use the new address: General Treasurer Church of the Nazarene, Global Ministry Center, 17001 Prairie Star Parkway, Lenexa, KS 66220. In Canada, checks should be made payable and sent to the Church of the Nazarene Canada, 20 Regan Road, Unit 9, Brampton, Ontario L7A 1C3. Online donating will be available at ncm.org.
--Dilli Subba-NCM Nepal and David Argabright (Slideshow available) 
Discuss Koshi flood disaster in Nepal in our forum
Post a Message | Read Messages (0) | Report Abuse