On Jul 26, 2019
Field update from Rautahat!
We are conducting a humanitarian response for the people affected by the recent floods in Rautahat. Overall, 29 people have died from the floods and over 25,000 houses have been partially or completely damaged in the district. The situation is far worse than what we have encountered so far in other recent disasters including the Gorkha Earthquake of 2015, Saptari-Sunsari Floods of 2017 and the 2019 windstorm of 2019. Below is an excerpt from our field teams' observations of a small village called Barhampuri in Raj Devi Municipality in the district.
Barhampuri, Ward 9, Rajdevi Municipality, Rautahat District: As requested by the Mayor of Rajdevi Municipality, the team started the assessment from Barhampuri village. The village is located at approximately 5-6 kilometers from Gaur Municipality but due to heavy rainfall and poor road conditions, it took the team about 45 minutes to reach the village. As per the locals, in normal road conditions, the time taken to reach Barhampuri from Gaur municipality is less than 15 minutes in own vehicle. The Indian Railway Department had diverted the direction of Bagmati River to lay railway tracks about 55 years ago which had displaced the entire village. All the villagers were relocated by Red Cross about 50 years ago but since the flood in 2017, Bagmati River has resumed it’s original track and now the entire village is at the verge of being swept away. Due to flood alert circulated by Ncell a day prior to the flood, the villagers managed to escape to safer areas and higher lands on time which is why there were no casualties reported from the area. Due to the heavy rainfall, the assessment team could not gather much data from the villagers, the villagers available around during the time of assessment had no idea regarding the total number of households and the number of damaged households so the team just went around the village.
• Before the team entered the settlement, the team noticed that the flood had entered Sugarcane farms and grain farms in the area which will further add to the problem as the villagers will not have any production this season.
• The hand pumps in the village had been contaminated but the villagers are compelled to drink the same water as there is no other alternative.
• The firewood that the villagers had stored got swept away by the flood and the alternatives available in the market such as LPG gas Stoves and Kerosene are not affordable by the villagers.
• The food ration that the villagers had stored also got damaged by the flood. At present children as young as 6 years old are going to market areas in search of wage so feed for the family. This has directly contributed to Child Labor and has also increased their chances of being physically abused.
• The houses have been totally damaged and belongings have swept away or rendered unusable.
• Food ration that lasts them for at least 1 month
• Kitchen Utensils
• Mosquito Nets
• Drinking-Water Purifier/ Safe Drinking Water
• Sanitation and Hygiene Kit
• Mattress and Blankets
*Sharing some of the heart-wrenching
pictures directly from the field.