Habitat for Humanity has assisted over 1,500 families affected by massive floods in South Asia, as part of its emergency relief activities in the last month.
This includes working in Nepal to help flood-affected communities in their recovery. Recent flooding in Nepal is considered to be the worst in the last 15 years. The monsoon has affected over 1.7 million people and displaced more than 40,000 families in 35 districts, partially or completely damaged over 200,000 houses, and left roads impassable.
Anita’s family is among those who have been assisted by Habitat for Humanity. When the flood waters came into their home and rose to nearly a metre high, Anita and her family started panicking and ran out. Thankfully, they managed to get to a safe spot by climbing up a bamboo ladder to the roof of a temple.
Anita, 18, her parents and her two sisters could only watch helplessly as the flood waters swept away all their belongings and destroyed their home located along the bank of Singya River in Eastern Nepal. Her father’s rickshaw, which was the source of income for the family, was also destroyed.
The next day after the flood water had receded, Anita and her family started cleaning up their house and tried to salvage their belongings. However, there was nothing left except for a few steel and copper plates and pottery.
“We only had something to eat the next day after people who came to distribute relief materials gave us some food. We have been living in a makeshift shelter made of the tarpaulin provided by Habitat since,” said Anita.
Another family in Western Nepal has also been living under a tarpaulin provided by Habitat for Humanity since the floods destroyed their home.
“It was raining heavily and we could hear cracks of thunder at frequent intervals. Around midnight, we heard the flood alert siren go off from a nearby police post. We thought that just one night of rainfall would not cause flooding so we stayed indoors. In any case, it wasn’t possible to step outside the house because we feared getting struck by lightning,” said Amar.
Amar tells Habitat that the water level suddenly rose around 4am and his family of five was soon in chest-deep water. With great difficulty, they managed to reach the police station (about 2 kilometers away), which was located on higher ground.
“We watched helplessly as flood waters tore into the walls of our house. Our home, built out of mud and bamboo, couldn’t hold out much longer and all our belongings were swept away in no time. All our livestock were drowned,” he said.
Currently, Habitat for Humanity is carrying out a three-phase intervention comprising emergency relief, recovery and reconstruction responses to help families hit by the devastating floods that ravaged 35 districts along the country’s southern plains.
Your support is needed to help families affected by the natural disaster access essential relief kits and rebuild their lives. Please make a donation today.