Mid-June usually marks the start of the monsoon season in Nepal. During this time, the country’s mountainous terrain becomes prone to landslides, while the valleys below are susceptible to flooding.
In August 2014, for instance, monsoon rains set off a landslide in the northern part of the country, blocking the Sunkoshi river and flooding Sindhupalchok district — the area hit hardest by the powerful 7.8-magnitude earthquake that shook the country on April 25.
Nepal’s challenging terrain has already made it difficult for aid agencies to deliver relief to villages and communities in high-altitude areas; the onset of the monsoons would only exacerbate those challenges. This is why the United Nations and organizations on the ground are trying to send as much aid as they can to these remote areas, and finding innovative ways to deliver relief despite logistical challenges.
“Some areas are inaccessible and expected to remain inaccessible for the entire monsoon season because the road has slid away,” Alex Marianelli, senior regional logistics officer at the World Food Program, told Devex. He’s mainly concerned that the monsoon “might isolate some communities” and render them unable to tap into their “traditional coping mechanisms” and access commercial markets.
This is also why in these hard-to-reach areas, long-term relief needs to be delivered in the next few weeks and a “much more long-term approach” has to be designed to ensure these communities can recover and build back better.
Watch the video above to see an excerpt of our conversation with Marianelli.
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