Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Rapid Response Fund Payment Request No. 02/2014
Funds Sent To: Lutheran World Federation, Nepal
Amount Sent: US$50,653
Date: 16 January 2014
Details of Response
Emergency: Cold wave in plain and snow fall in hills in western Nepal
Date of Emergency: 14 January 2014
ACT Requesting Member: Lutheran World Federation Nepal
I. NARRATIVE SUMMARY
DETAILS OF THE EMERGENCY
Lives of the poorest and most oppressed families of the terai (southern plain) and western hill districts of Nepal have been affected by a severe cold wave from the last week of December 2013. No sunlight has been seen for days after a thick fog enveloped the area bringing with it a sudden cold wave following winter rains in some of the districts. Families living in houses with weak insulation structures have been mostly affected by the cold. People are rarely seen outside or even in offices unless there is urgent work. Flights from Kathmandu to the terai and hilly districts have been disturbed due to poor visibility. Road transport has also been affected because of thick fog. Lives of people in the mid and hill districts of the far western region have also been hit hard following winter rain and heavy snowfall. According to the meteorological office, there will be more winter rain and snowfall in the terai and western hill districts in the upcoming days. With snowfall and temperatures dropping across the region -- as low as to minus 15 degrees in some places - people, especially the more vulnerable elderly and children are suffering under the extreme conditions.
Dalits (terai and hill), freed bonded labourers (ex-haliya, ex-kamiaya) and people displaced due to the 2013 flooding have been badly affected. Among them, the elderly and children have been worst affected. In some districts, schools have been closed for over a week. Winter vegetables have been destroyed due to hard frost. There has been a sudden increase in cold-related health problems including common colds, coughing, pneumonia, cold diarrhoea and respiratory problems in local health clinics / hospitals in the districts.
ACTIONS TO DATE, AND EMERGENCY NEEDS
The Central Natural Disaster Relief Committee (CNDRC) has sent directives to all district disaster relief committees (DDRCs) for their proactive action for timely and effective responses. Similarly the CNDRC meeting, on 31 December 2013, requested all humanitarian agencies to extend humanitarian assistance to the cold-affected families. DDRCs in cold-affected districts have conducted meetings among the agencies for effective coordination in analyzing the situation and identifying potential sources for help. Nepal Red Cross Society, members of INGOs in Nepal (AIN), community based disaster management committees and their networks, community based organizations, local clubs, media houses and civil society organizations have been working on awareness raising on safety in cold wave and snowfall. In some municipalities and townships, government agencies have arranged firewood for heating purposes. District Chapters of the Nepal Red Cross Society, local clubs and social organizations have distributed some clothing items and blankets. However, this assistance have not yet reached the most vulnerable and oppressed families living in remote areas.
Rapid assessments conducted by LWF and others indicate that clothing materials (non-food items) are urgently needed by the more vulnerable poor and oppressed families living in southern plain and western hill districts to help them survive the unusual extremely cold conditions. The clothing materials needed are sleeping mats, woollen blankets, woollen shawls (wrapper) and Falatin (flannel) cloth.
PROPOSED EMERGENCY RESPONSE
OVERALL GOAL: The goal of the proposed emergency response is to reduce the suffering of the most vulnerable cold wave and snowfall affected households in southern plains and western hills of Nepal and help them get back on their feet by providing for the most basic needs of non-food (clothing) items .
OBJECTIVE OF THE EMERGENCY RESPONSE: Objective of this emergency response is to provide warm clothes and blankets to the severely affected 650 households’ members in targeted areas.
For the full document and budget, please click here.