Emergency responders will distribute supplies to flood-affected communities as rains devastate South Asia
Kathmandu, Nepal — The global organization Mercy Corps is responding in Nepal to monsoon rains that have triggered life-threatening flash floods, affecting millions across South Asia. In Nepal, 75,000 people are displaced and more than 18,000 homes are either partially damaged or fully destroyed.
“Monsoon season has only recently begun, so continued rains in the days and weeks ahead will only magnify the devastation and wreak havoc on families already displaced from their homes,” says Paula Miller, Acting Country Director for Mercy Corps in Nepal. “Search and rescue efforts are the priority right now, but we are growing increasingly concerned about waterborne diseases like diarrhea and cholera, which often spread in the aftermath of flooding. Most of the water sources in the area where we're responding have been contaminated."
On July 17, three Mercy Corps emergency responders arrived in Mahottari, one of the worst-affected districts in Nepal’s Province 2. Two team members had to travel by raft to reach the hard-hit municipality of Jaleshwor. In the coming days the team will distribute supplies to meet pressing needs, expected to be:
- Shelter: Homes in this area are made of bamboo and mud, and are vulnerable to flooding. Families whose homes have flooded have also lost many possessions and essential supplies.
- Clean water: Most of the affected communities use underground water from tube wells, undoubtedly affected by the inundation of water that may lead to waterborne diseases.
- Food: Rainfall has hindered the ability of people to work, and many people in this region depend on a daily wage to feed their families. Communities are also at risk of food shortages with markets cut off due to road blockages.
Mercy Corps has worked in Nepal since 2006, improving the incomes of smallholder farmers, increasing access to loans and savings, helping girls stay in school and find employment opportunities and training communities to identify risks, prepare for emergencies and protect themselves against floods and other natural disasters. Mercy Corps also responded to the devastating 2015 Gorkha Earthquake, providing emergency supplies and cash, and helping families rebuild stronger, safer homes.