Disaster victims continue to face multi challenges several years after disaster: a report
Disaster survivors in Nepal continue to suffer and dream of a dignified life as the world celebrates the World Humanitarian Day today.
According to a report, Life After Devastation, launched by HAMI (Humanitarian Accountability Monitoring Initiative) and Oxfam in Nepal, on the occasion of the World Humanitarian Day, people affected by disasters as old as the Koshi Floods of 2008, are found to be living in temporary shelters where they have challenges maintaining basic standard of life and suffer from different illnesses.
Bimala Devi Yadav of Sunsari is a survivor of 2008 Koshi flood whose fertile land was turned into a river bank. She cannot grow paddy anymore as her land got silted and has become unproductive. Saha Bahadur Khadka, 68, from Surkhet survived the 2014 floods by hanging on to the branches of a tree for two days. Two years since the floods, he is still living in Girighar temporary camp, Surkhet with 7 family members in the middle of jungle. Ram Kaji Shrestha (72) and Ganesh Maya Shrestha (63) of Barhabhise, Sindhupalchowk survived three major disasters- landslides, earthquake and floods in the span of two years. They lost their only son in the earthquake last year and the Bhotekoshi flood this year swept away their land and their newly constructed house which built after the earthquake. They are now living in rented rooms and waiting for the government support.
Tens of thousands of survivors are still struggling to rebuild their houses destroyed by the April 25 earthquake of 2015 due to government’s delay in releasing aid. "Disasters inflict pain, trauma and unimaginable losses. The recovery and rehabilitation of the survivors must focus on short-term and long-term support so that they can get back to normalcy as early as possible," says Cecilia Keizer, Country Director Oxfam in Nepal. Oxfam has been working in Nepal for the last three decades. Since 2010, it started its Disaster Risk Reduction Programme that helps people prepare for disasters like earthquake. Oxfam and its partners have established many stockpiling centers with items that will be required immediately after a large-scale disaster like earthquake.
The report Life After Devastation is a compilation of about a dozen case studies of flood, landslide, and earthquake survivors from nine districts—Banke, Bardiya, Dolakha, Nuwakot, Rasuwa, Sunsari, Saptari, Sindhupalchowk and Surkhet—who survived 2008 Koshi flood, mid –western floods in 2014, Jure land slide in 2014 and Gorkha Earthquake of 2015.
"In few cases, it was found that children dropped out from school to share the burden to earn extra income for the family," says Min Bahadur Shahi, Convener of HAMI. "Nepal must enact Disaster Management bill that protects the rights of disaster survivors and ensure proper recovery, reconstruction and rehabilitation," adds Ms Keizer.
- On an average, every year, about 500 people die every year in Nepal in different kinds of disasters.
- Flood, landslide, thunderbolt, and fire are among the major disasters Nepal faced in the last five years. Earthquake of 2015 alone however took lives of nearly 9000 people and injured more than 22,000 people.
- More than 300 people lost their lives in various districts of Nepal from Baisakh 1 to Shrawan 32 by disasters caused by floods, heavy rainfall, and landslide, and affected more than 10,000 families.
- 130 million people are living in different crises globally
- Oxfam in Nepal works in seven out of the 14 earthquake affected districts providing short term as well as long term support to the people affected.
 As per National Emergency Operation Center