Koshi River Floods - September 2008 - Nepal

Funds allocated:
US$ 325 000

Affected population:
34 people died, and 49 000 displaced

The emergency

On 18 August 2008, the furious waters of the Koshi river, fed by heavy monsoon rains, burst through the eastern retaining wall of an embankment about 10 km north of the Koshi barrage. The wall of water that gushed out totally inundated Shreepurjavdi and Shreeharipur, and portions of Lohaki and Kusahapaschim in Sunsari District. Thirty four people died, and 49 000 were displaced. One sub-health post was completely destroyed, and two others suffered partial damage.

Funds allocated

At the request of the WHO Representative to Nepal, US$ 325 000 was allocated for the emergency from SEARHEF.

How it made a difference

SEARHEF quickly provided substantial funds to mount an appropriate response to the emergency. Indeed, SEARHEF and CERF were the only two funding sources Koshi river emergency response in the health sector.

Procuring essential medicines

With SEARHEF funds, essential drugs and supplies were speedily procured and distributed to ensure the health of the people, and prevent desire outbreaks.

Rapid assessment

Rapid assessment of the situation and follow-up assessments were done to understand the impact of the flood and the gaps that had to be filled for health care response.

Teams of WHO and UNICEF visited and provided feedback to the MoHP for response support and identification of gaps.

Treatment provided in open ground next to a health post
Treatment provided in open ground next to a health post

Provision of essential medicines and supplies

Supplies and drugs were provided to rapid response teams that were mobilized by MoHP to provide health care services to the displaced population. Ten mobile clinics were initiated.

Provision of timely deployment of health/medical personnel to the field specially to the Internally Displaced People (IDP) and host community sites for rapid response including surveillance and essential health care services.

Immediate procurements of essential drugs and supplies for response for continuation of services helped the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) during the response.