The United Nations and its humanitarian partners have issued a $15.5 million appeal today to help 70,000 victims of flooding in eastern Nepal.
The flooding began in August when heavy monsoon rains caused a dam to break, breaching the eastern embankment of the Kosi River, one of the largest river basins in Asia. The force of the water led to 80 per cent of the river changing course, and the resulting flooding has impacted an already vulnerable population.
Robert Piper, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Nepal, called on donors for their assistance to help communities – who, in spite of widespread poverty, have helped affected families and sheltered those forced from their homes by the flooding – and local governments. “As it will be many months before these families will be able to go home, their support will prove crucial to stabilize the precarious conditions of the displaced.”
Those who escaped the flooding are taking refuge in dozens of temporary sites in Sunsari and Saptari districts, while many families are also staying in shelters along river embankments and highways.
Today’s call for funds is supplementing a $102 million Transition Appeal for Nepal for 2008, which has received less than half of the support needed.
Parts of the country’s western region have also been hit hard by separate flooding and landslides this month, claiming more than 30 lives. Kanchanpur and Kailali districts have suffered the most, with over 24,000 families affected by flash floods alone.