Nepal Nazarenes respond in wake of deadly landslides
The rainy season in Nepal has caused severe landslides in several districts. Rains and slides significantly impacted villagers in the small town of Mehele in July, as more than 50 families were displaced from their homes, and most crops were damaged or destroyed.
Nazarene Compassionate Ministries (NCM) in Nepal distributed food relief packs to almost all the families impacted in the area. Contents included essentials like rice, lentils, oil, and salt. Other distributions included tarps for shelter and soap.
Traveling to the impacted area was difficult. A team of NCM Nepal volunteers from three local churches used motorbikes to navigate the wet and slippery roads to reach the location, where they met a truck that brought items via another route. Damaged roads and no electricity increased travel time for the group.
“The roads were extremely challenging, with landslides visible everywhere,” said Sandeep, the local NCM coordinator. “We could see collapsed bridges and large metal debris along the riverbanks.”
When they arrived at a distribution point, Sandeep noted that the area was still at risk. Geographically, the area was susceptible to landslides, and many of the houses were at risk in case of more rainfall. A small landslide occurred higher up the hill while they were there.
A man named Yadav came to the distribution to receive food. When the rains hit, water began flowing down their road.
“My house fell in the twinkle of an eye,” Yadav shared. “When I opened my eyes, there was a big landslide. I could not find my family. I have been searching till now for my wife, my daughter-in-law, and my lovely grandson.”
Yadav’s family members were not the only lives lost; this set of slides caused 110 fatalities in the area. Along with his deep grief, Yadav had to face rebuilding and recovering financially and physically.
“We were in trouble. Every household is in financial crisis,” he pointed out. “I thank everyone who initiated the relief distribution to us.”
One elected official expressed his thanks for this compassionate outreach.
“I am impressed by this kind of work initiated by NCM Nepal,” he stated. “As an elected representative of this community, I take this opportunity to thank you on behalf of my people of Mehele. You came to this place right after the disaster as a medicine for fresh wounds in our community and life.”
While recovering from this crisis will take years, the immediate care provided essential items to a village that otherwise was without help. Looking ahead, NCM Nepal staff and volunteers are planning how they can assist in the next stage of healing.
“The people lost their loved ones, they lost their parts of agricultural land, they lost crops, and they also lost their animals,” Sandeep said. “There are high chances that people may be victimized by trauma and need counseling. Now, they have received some basic items just for a short time. If NCM helps them long term in the recovery of living and bringing them back to their previous situation, it will be a great blessing for the affected people.”
--Church of the Nazarene Eurasia Region