Nepal experienced strong monsoon rains in early August. As a result, severe flooding took place in the southern part of the country that affected an estimated 1.7 million people. More than 450,000 people are displaced and unfortunately 143 people lost their lives; 65,000 houses are destroyed. Currently the floods are receding but some areas remain inundated. As a result of the floods, a significant number of roads in the country have been destroyed or have been shut due to landslides, making it difficult to reach affected areas. Parts of the harvest will have been destroyed, but a clearer picture will emerge once all water will have receded. Some paddy crops can survive after being inundated for a limited number of days, but other crops are most likley lost. SNV is active in 7 of the 35 affected districts, in particular with the Sustainable Sanitation and Hygiene for All programme (funded by DFID).
SNV is using its expertise in WASH to respond to the situation, since the ongoing development activities are estimated to stop for a period of 3 months providing time for relief activities, and early recovery.
SNV and local partners are providing hygiene education to avoid the spread of diseases. Staff are also providing support to the district WASH Cluster coordination committees in the flood response (hygiene promotion in affected areas, information collection and reporting to District WASH cluster etc.). SNV is exploring the possibilities to integrate latrine reconstruction into the overall infrastructure reconstruction and ensuring long term hygiene practices. At national level SNV is an active participant in the WASH cluster meetings taking place in Kathmandu thereby supporting the coordination and providing information.
In addition micro-hydro power installations constructed in SNV projects have been damaged; 2 canals and one building housing a power plant. The total estimated damage is US$1,500. It is anticipated that the local communities will repair the damage. The SNV WASH projects have experienced flooding, but there has been no structural damage affecting the project in the long term.