Nepal, a nation prone to many natural disasters, has again faced the grim reality of nature’s fury. In the month of August, incessant monsoon rainfall patterns triggered landslides and flooding, causing havoc in several districts, including Kapilvastu, Mustang, Bajura, and Bardiya. Among these, the Mustang district in the Gandaki province was one of the most heavily affected.
On August 13th, 2023, a devastating flood in the Kagbeni River wreaked havoc, washing away many houses and displacing many people in Varagung Muktichhetra Rural Municipality-4, Mustang. This disaster happened because the river was blocked by a landslide upstream. Then, it suddenly burst its banks, flooding the areas downstream. A report from the District Disaster Management Committee (DDMC) described how bad it was: 29 houses were completely destroyed, a bridge on the Jomsom-Korala road was washed away, a suspension bridge turned into rubble, and 12 vehicles, including an excavator working on the bridge, were swept away by the flood.
Navigating the impacted area proved to be arduous due to multiple roadblocks along the way. Chief District Officer (CDO) of Mustang Anup KC explained, “We are travelling on foot to the flood-hit area as there are roadblocks in several places along the way.” An inn for travellers also met its demise in flood, although tourists and locals found refuge in safe locations that fateful Sunday night.
Displaced residents sought shelter in the rural municipality’s office buildings and community halls, while others turned to their relatives for support. Fortunately, the disaster unfolded in the evening, allowing people to escape the immediate danger. However, this catastrophe displaced hundreds of hotel operators and workers, presenting a daunting challenge in managing the seasonal workforce. Anup KC noted the difficulties, saying, “Although arranging food material for a few days will not be a problem, it will be tough to make arrangements to send them back home due to financial constraints.”
The Nepal Red Cross Society (NRCS) Mustang reported that 51 families, a school, a gompa, and three community buildings were affected, with 29 Households being completely devastated. This calamity impacted 256 individuals, with 133 being females, underlining the urgency of assisting the affected population.
In the wake of this disaster, INF Nepal responded with relief distribution to the affected communities. All the affected Households (51 families, a school, a gompa, and three community buildings) were provided with hygiene kits and two blankets to each. Four tarps were distributed to the school. This response benefitted 256 individuals, including school children.
INF Nepal conducted this relief distribution in close coordination with the DDMC, NRCS, Rural Municipality, and Asal Chhimekee Nepal and supported by TAI.
We remain committed to providing relief and support to these vulnerable as they begin the challenging recovery and reconstruction process.