Nepal Monsoon Forecast and Oxfam in Nepal’s Preparedness

Monday, July 1, 2019

The monsoon season for the year 2019 recently made its way into Nepal in mid-June. This year, monsoon arrived 10 days after the normal predicted date. The Nepal Meteorological Forecasting Department (MFD) reports the official start of the monsoon in eastern region on Thursday 20 June. 2019 and will slowly move to the west. “It may take a few days for the active monsoon to spread across the country bringing plenty of rain,” reads the weather report issued by MFD. The Department forecasts that “this year’s monsoon will bring average rainfall to Gandaki, Karnali and Sudurpaschim provinces, while Provinces 1, 2, 3 and 5 will experience below average rainfall”.

As per MFD, monsoon in Nepal will last for three to four months. Nepal marks the onset of rainfall in June every year until September. According to the MFD, rainfall in Nepal lasts for an average of 105 days. “Nepal receives 80 percent of annual rainfall on an average, which originates in the Bay of Bengal and moves along the southern flanks of the Himalayas. The average annual rainfall in Nepal is 1,600 mm but it varies from place to place, depending on climatic conditions,” reads the report.

Monsoon between June to September is called ‘Southwest Monsoon Season.’ Southern plane of Nepal is prone to flood hazards, and hilly and mountaineous regions are prone to landslides. Oxfam in Nepal’s goal for Humanitarian, Disaster Risk Reduction & Climate Change Adaptation programme is “Saving lives now and in the future with enhanced resilience for vulnerable women and men at risk of, or coping with, disasters and impacts of climate change.” And, with this goal, Oxfam has been implementing Disaster Risk Management and Humanitarian Preparedness Project with an aim to build households’ resilience in four flood prone districts of Terai, such as Saptari and Rautahat. The project is being implemented in partnership with two local organizations Koshi Victim Society (KVS) in Saptari and Rural Development Center (RDC) in Rautahat. The increased community resilience was aimed through intervention in Disaster Risk Reduction, Climate Change Adaptation and Women Empowerment of targeted communities and institutions.

For monsoon preparedness, contingency plans are prepared which includes emergency response modality, partners’ capacity mapping, mock and drill exercises, simulation exercises and emergency fund allocation. Oxfam’s implementing partners have allocated 100,000 Nepali Rupees for emergency response. The emergency fund can be mobilized after the decision made by District Disaster Management Committee (DDMC) for emergency response.

Oxfam has supported in organizing pre-monsoon workshop to review and update disaster preparedness and response plan of Rautahat and Saptari districts of Nepal. This has encouraged DDMC to lead local disaster responses. The locally made life jackets, two rubber boats, trained task force and first aid responders with community based early warning system are the major preparedness interventions introduced by Oxfam – it will be mobilized in case of emergency.

Based on the weather forecast, individual households, institution and communities are required to be prepared to mitigate the potential losses and damages from the floods and landslides. Communities are required to check their household level stock piles, status of life search and rescue materials, early warning tools. They should be able to easily access emergency fund allocated by local government in time of emergency.

Trained task force will identify evacuation routes, update first aid trainers list, check the status of evacuation center and proper dissemination of early warning messages amongst the community members. This preparedness will help to enhance the coping capacity during potential disasters.

Note to editors:

  • Disaster Risk Management and Humanitarian Preparedness Project has been implemented in Nepal since year 2011.
  • Earthquake, flood, landslide, tornado, fire and lightening are major natural disasters in Nepal.
  • According to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) dataset, 13 types of disasters were recorded during the last two years with a total number of 2,940 disaster events. Of the total disaster events, 299 lightening, 290 landslides, 244 floods and 118 heavy rainfalls disaster events were recorded.

 

Photo by: Bijay Sha Baniya/Rural Development Center, Rautahat