August 26 2008

Expansion of emergency relief work in eastern Nepal

25/08/2008 - Following the bursting of the dam on the Koshi river in the Sunsari district of Nepal, thousands of people are still just receiving temporary aid. SOS Children's Villages Nepal is focusing on caring for children and providing basic medical assistance in two camps.

Photo: SOS Archives
SOS Children's Villages guarantees basic medial care for families affected - Photo: SOS Archives

The bursting of a dam in eastern Nepal led to serious flooding of whole villages. Thousands of villagers are staying in temporary camps that have been set up in schools and temples. Last week, SOS Children's Villages Nepal set up a basic medical centre for around 3,600 people who are living on the grounds of Bhagawati High School.

Another emergency relief programme has also been launched in Balaha, where around 560 flood victims (250 of whom are children under the age of twelve) are temporarily being housed at Sarada Higher Secondary School. SOS Children's Villages has, in agreement with the local authorities and the local relief committee, pledged to provide full care for homeless families and, in doing so, is mainly focusing on children.

Each day, the children can take part in different activities that are organised at the kindergarten and in a tent on the playground. A trauma centre will also be opened, which will help both children and adults to come to terms with what they have experienced. As in Bhagawati, basic medical care in also being provided in Balaha and patients are being transferred to the local hospital when necessary.

Photo: SOS Archives
Many children are in shock following the disaster - Photo: SOS Archives

SOS Children's Villages Nepal is putting mattresses in all the classrooms, and is repairing electricity supplies and sanitary facilities. The children are also receiving clothes, because hardly any of them have enough to wear. The Chamber of Commerce of Biratnagar will give flood victims in Balaha a meal twice a day until 28 August. From then onwards, SOS Children's Villages Nepal will take over and provide food.

Immediately after the flooding - which hit around 35,000 people - mothers, staff members, children and young people from SOS Children's Village Itahari provided the first emergency relief and also made personal donations for those affected.