Continuous and heavy rainfall in the Terai region of Nepal resulted in floods and landslides in many parts of the country. The flood affected 35 districts, of which 10 districts were affected badly. The devastating floods and landslides claimed life of many people, destruction of properties, livestock and agricultural crops. According to the Ministry of Home Affair (30 August), 160 people lost their life, 29 missing and 46 are injured. According to same source 43,433 houses are completely destroyed, 1, 58,197 houses are partially damaged by the calamities.
After the incidence many helping hands including government of Nepal, different national and international organizations, volunteering groups involved in direct-indirect assistance to the victims of affected areas. The initial relief works includes rescue and distribution of relief materials. While in later, psychosocial supports, psychological first aid, and dissemination of necessary information were made by different helping agencies and groups.
Social Workers Association, Nepal (SWAN) committed for the promotion of Social Work Education and practice in Nepal have limited resources. Further, as being not a relief distribution organization, the association has no initial preparation for relief distribution. Consequently, the association couldn’t engaged in rescue and relief distribution activities. However, need for supporting victims is identified by the association. Therefore, association engaged in meeting with members, different institutions, district disaster management committee, and clusters and finally came up with conclusion to provide psychological first aid support to the victims of the affected areas. For this, SWAN collaborated with Counselling College and Social Science College (CPSSC) and Doko Namlo, informal social work students groups, which has future plan to work as NGO. CPSSC has supported association by providing trainer for providing psychological first aid training to the team and few counselling students to be mobilized in the field. A trainer from CPSSC provided training to team of 15 persons.
After providing necessary training, and coordination with the Department of women and children, Ministry of children, women and social welfare, small group of 3 individuals departed for psychosocial support to the affected area Jhapa, Baluwatar. Baluwatar is a village which is situated in the bank of Koshi river in Jhapa. As being in the bank of the river, it was washed by water when the level of river raised followed by continuous rainfall which caused causalities along with the loss of many properties and many domestic animals. Some people have been homeless and agricultural lands had been covered by sands.
Jhapa is a Terai district in Mechi zone of south-eastern Nepal. Under the new federal division, the district lies in Province No. 1. It is one of the most affected district by the massive flood of 11th August, 2017. Among the many affected area of Jhapa, Jhapa Gaunpalika-2, Baluwatar is one of the affected area by the flood. According to Ministry of Home affairs 16 people died, 2 were missed, 644 house completely damaged and 1541 houses were partially damaged in Jhapa District along.
The team had arrived the affected area with main objective to provide psychological first aid support to the victims. Besides, they were also sent for
Need assessment and situational analysis for future planning
Provide psychological first aid training
Provide psychological first aid support
Day 1 (14 September)- Reached to the affected area and coordinated with Department of women and Children Jhapa
Day 2 (15 September) –Provided medicinal support to the Kumerkhod Swasthya Chowki
-Field visit and gathering of information
Day 3 (16 September) – Psychological First Aid training to the teachers of local schools
-Psychological supports to the needed individuals in affected areas
Day 4 (17 September)- Games and psychological supports to the school children
Day 5 (18 September)- Departed to Kathmandu
Provided medicinal support to the Kumerkhod Swasthya Chowki
Basic medicinal support was provided to Kumerkhod Swasthya Chowki. Medicinal supports were collected from R Medic Chhetrapati and Rakshya Medical Hall, Shantinagar before visiting affected area. The collected medicines were handed to Mr. Lakshman Bista, incharge of health post.
Field Visit and gathering of information
After the distribution of medicine to the health post, team visited field for the purpose of gathering information. Various areas were visited for analyzing the damaged caused by the floods and landslide. Information were also collected from community people. According to the local people, 2 peoples died and 2 houses were completely damaged in Baluwatar VDC alone. Agricultural lands were covered by sand which caused destruction of agricultural crops. The locals claimed from no support from governments and NGOs and INGOs in area
Activity 3 Psychological First Aid training to the teachers of local schools
Psychological First Aid training was provided to 26 teachers from local Schools. Teachers from 4 different schools participated in the training and training was conducted in Shree Judo Primary School. Training was provided to the teachers with the aim that they become able to provide psychological supports to the victims.
Activity 4 Psychological supports to the needed individuals in affected areas
The identified peoples with suspected psychological problems were called for the psychological supports. Of them two are suspected for severe psychological disorders. Therefore, they are suggested to consult hospitals at Birtamode for services. Rest were provided with psychological supports. Altogether, 50 persons were benefited by services
Activity 5 Games and psychological supports to the school children
With aim to aid students forget the tragic situation that they faced recently, they were made to play different games, were involved in arts, music and dance. The activities expect children to heal psychologically. 35 students were involved in the activities
Of total, 75 houses in the Baluwatar 2 were completely destroyed few partially damaged.
Of 2 houses 1 owner has started rebuilding. While 1 house owner is single women, she lacks finance and resources so could not rebuild herself. Community people as well as women is appealing for help
The main occupation of people in Baluwatar VDC is agriculture. And as most of the agricultural land covered by sand, the agricultural crops had been damaged completely. Therefore they required substitute program for economic independence
People claimed for no governmental and non-government organization support in area.
Psychological problems were also observed in the areas and locals have demanded for further psychological supports in the affected areas.
Despite community people have started to return the previous situation, still because of casualties, loss of property and livestock, it is difficult for them to reenter rehabilitation process. Therefore, further supports to the community people are required.
SWAN has identified need of following programs in the affected areas:
Psycho social supports
Supports for successful reintegration of displaced people
Agricultural crops replacements program
Income generating program to the victims
Supports and relief to the school children