Flooding and Landslides - Nepal

In August 2017 heavy rain in southern Nepal triggered vast flooding and landslides impacting more than one-third of the country. The disaster killed 160 people, left 21,000 displaced and destroyed or partially damaged 235,000 homes. At the height of the disaster, the United Nations estimated that more than 1.1 million people had been affected by the floods.

Responding to the urgent need for humanitarian assistance, the Australian Government activated the Australian Humanitarian Partnership (AHP) which funded Plan International Australia and Oxfam Australia in partnership with World Vision to provide safe drinking water and hygiene services, household items, supplementary food for babies and young children, and education and protection support to children impacted by disaster.

Oxfam Australia in partnership with World Vision Australia

Oxfam and World Vision activities focussed on four of the worst impacted districts, supporting the needs of more than 42,600 flood-affected people, especially children under two, pregnant and lactating women, the elderly, and people living with disabilities. The project aimed to improve access to adequate nutrition, sanitation, and safe drinking water, so that affected people could protect themselves from public health risks resulting from the floods.

Despite the fact that 70 percent of handpumps were inundated by the flood waters in the target districts, rapid water infrastructure repair, combined with important hygiene education, halted the outbreak of disease and provided more than 80 percent of the target population with improved access to safe drinking water. The project also achieved more than 90 percent access to latrines, many of which had been damaged or destroyed by the floods forcing communities to defecate outside which further raised the risk of waterborne diseases.

Overall the project distributed nutrient-rich super flour to more than 1000 families, prioritising children under two years, pregnant and lactating women and people with disabilities. Water filters were distributed to over 5100 families, while more than 3300 wells were disinfected and over 400 toilets repaired and renovated.

Female participation is the key to successful water, sanitation and hygiene projects implemented by Oxfam Australia © Oxfam Australia

Female participation is the key to successful water, sanitation and hygiene projects implemented by Oxfam Australia © Oxfam Australia

Plan International Australia

Disruptions to education services as a result of natural disaster can have long-term impact on children. The Plan International project supported more than 11,000 primary school and kindergarten-aged children to continue their education in a clean and safe environment.

The project, focusing on two badly impacted districts in southern Nepal, helped to renovate 50 damaged schools by working with local community volunteers. Plan provided school kits to children and learning materials to enable teachers to start teaching again. To ensure there was access to clean water in the schools, the project focussed on renovating school water points, latrines and hand washing basins in six of the poorest schools, adopting a cash-for-work model that also benefited the local community.

Finally, acknowledging that violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of children and adolescents greatly increases during emergencies, Plan International integrated protection activities using child and adolescent friendly spaces to provide protection information to around 4000 at-risk children and young people, while assisting with targeted response and referral services. This included registering any children or young people who had lost their identity documents in the floods and ensuring these important documents were reissued.

Basic non-food items were included in distributions to flood-impacted communities as part of the Plan International Australia project © Plan International Australia

Basic non-food items were included in distributions to flood-impacted communities as part of the Plan International Australia project © Plan International Australia

Nepal, 2017Clare Price