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Providing Relief to Flood Victims in Nepal

Through Sarvodaya USA, we were able to send $2000 to support flood relief in Nepal. Ramesh shares his experience distributing the relief supplies in Janakpur area.

Shisir dai Namaste,

The long awaited trip to Janakpur was wonderful and turned out to be great success. I have to say that the delayed Flood Relief Program in Janakpur was beyond our previous thought and it was beyond our expectation. We went to Janakpur on 17th of November (Saturday) and stayed there for four days, till 20th November. Initially, we thought of staying there only for a day and come back to Kathmandu after handing over the items to the Rad Cross. But we changed our modality after we reached Jankapur.

On the first day after reaching Jankapur, we contacted the local NGOs, local Red Cross, Amnesty and local journalists to read the situation in Janakpur. On the second day, we went to flood affected sites (Katrait and Musharniya). We chose these two places upon the request of the NGOS working for social development and also, on the basis of news that these two places were strongly affected by flood in Dhanusha district. We verified the family names with the provided lists with direct observation in these two most affected areas in Dhanusa district. We were accompanied by the local and a NGO memeber of Janankpur. We had to travel many hours (by bike) to reach these two places from the place where we stayed in Janakpur. We altogether ten to twelve people visited these flood affected place in six motor bikes arranged by this local NGO named "PARDAPS." After this, we figured out the poor families with most affected flood victims. Since it was impossible and risky to distribute the items in these areas because we would not be able to provide items to all the families, we came out with an idea of coupon system. We distributed the coupons on the third day after long discussion with all the team members who visited the flood affected sites with us.Most of the people who were provided coupon were really needy people. We called them at 'PARDAPS" office near Ramananda Chowk. We distributed the items for about 200 flood victims families.

The whole Katrait village was displaced by flood and most of the victims already shifted to other place, not so far from the flood affected area. There are still living in pity conditions without clean drinking water and toilet facilities. The bamboo made houses we saw were still not complete and some are still living in old leaked thatched bamboo houses without anything inside the house. In such cases the electricity is a far away dream for most of them. Since their lands and houses were swept away by flood, the grain storage made of bamboo were empty. The stories we heard from them were pathetic and heart touching.

Musharniya village, on the other hand had more stories. This VDC lies at the lowest level in Nepal. All three sides of this VDC are bordered by India.And India built dams to block water flowing from Nepal. Because of this, the water returns back to this village making the whole village under water. They do not have any outlet to get out of this village during rainy season. Most of them get stuck in the village helplessly with water up to their neck. The greatest problem during this time is sleeping and defecating (to throw human waste). Most of the women and children have to defecate in the water standing during such worst times. There is not a single place in a greater height where they could take shelter during such difficult times. If some one has to deliever or some gets sick, there is no any other way. Even the helicopter has no place to land when they go for distributing foods. The situation as they told was so desperate. They also mentioned that most of them did not get any flood relief till today (except some food items dropped by the helicopter) though they had been hearing lot about donations being collected by different NGOs and Government Offices. Most of them had high expectation from us. Some of them were really frustrated and raged over us saying that they did not need relief items; instead they need long term support such as building a big place in a great height where they could take shelter. I felt that the items we arranged for them was so less since there were many families who really need flood relief items. Lots of lots of things and many stories……

We thought that they would not be so much interested in used and old clothes. But it was not the situation. The clothes we took (20 sacks) were over within some hours since every one of them wanted more clothes to wear.

We were accompanied and helped by many members of a local NGO and local journalists.

To sum up, the program was quite success. We were also accompanied by my ex-boss who works helped us a lot through out the program.




thanks

Ramesh

Comments

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