It is with a fraught sense of anger and frustration we've been watching the news develop of flooding and landslides over the past weeks. As of the 29th July over 100 have been reported killed throughout South Asia, with at least 75 of those deaths in Nepal. With the rains continuing we can't expect these numbers to stay static, as the numbers of landslides and flash floods increase. The video footage highlights not only the scale of risk to life, but the threats and obstacles to transportation, temporary shelter and reconstruction. All of which will further delay relief and reconstruction sorely needed after the earthquakes of 2015.
To see recent news footage click here
(new window to English and Nepali videos on NERF's youtube channel)
This Monsoon and extensive, ever-changing drainage basins of the Himalaya range make floods a regular yearly, if not geographically predictable hazard for millions. Landslides add a crippling logistical impediment beyond the initial danger of the event itself. This year localised rainfall patterns have pushed many rivers to flows not seen for decades. The 2015 Earthquakes and continuing aftershocks have made changes to the geology, often draining drinking water sources, creating underground weaknesses in the hill sides and weakening steep slopes further.
How much more can these communities endure? How can get go about recovery while unforeseen or expected hazards cause such damage and loss of life. How can you help from so far away? Should we be there....
After working in-country through the Monsoon in 2015, we now return to the UK. Keeping program activities to a minimum, specifically to reduce unplanned delays, unnecessary expenditures and risk to staff and volunteers. It's not an uncommon practise amongst INGOs, and when you analyse the risk, well, we're of no use to our partners and the communities if we're in need of rescue ourselves.
But, it still doesn't feel like enough when you see the photographs and watch the videos of towns you know well being washed away.
We encourage those travelling to Nepal or in Nepal now to check the following websites for information and advice. You can also download several apps to advice you of floods, be aware you cannot rely on any app 100% and you should check which suits Nepal and your mobile device the best.
If you are interested in resources for Flood Resilience, Community Resilience or any other Disaster Risk Reduction aspects please email us at Info@NERFInternational.org.
Take care, stay safe and please, be with Nepal.