Nepal is one of the most vulnerable countries at risk due to natural disasters, which are becoming more severe and less predictable due to climate change.
It is common to see hillsides in Nepal scarred by evidence of previous landslides in remote areas, as heavy rainfall can quickly make the ground unstable on steep inclines.
Monsoon season brings heavy rains – about 80% of Nepal’s annual rainfall comes in a three-month period between June and September. The rain helps grow crops but can also cause landslides and flash-floods which cause huge damage in Nepal’s many valleys and the low-lying Terai plains.
Climate change is making the impacts of monsoon season less predictable, as erratic weather patterns become more frequent and severe.
Our partners’ response to monsoon-related natural disasters helps save lives.
Emergency supplies including food and healthcare items are given to those whose homes or livelihoods have been damaged.
Temporary shelters (usually tarpaulins or corrugated metal sheets) are provided to people whose home have been destroyed, as local authorities usually take a lead on housing reconstruction.
It is important to note that our partners are also working with vulnerable communities to adapt to the impacts of a changing climate and reduce the risk of natural disasters.
Sunita* feared for her grandchildren when a landslide hit their village in Gorkha:
“I was getting ready to make dinner for the family. The kids were outside the house playing and their parents were in the field.
“Suddenly, we heard a huge sound and our house was trapped in the landslide from both sides. I was terrified and froze there. When I came to my senses, the green corn and paddy field had turned into muddy rubble.
“I was so helpless. Some neighbours came to rescue me but it was getting dark and the whole village was in chaos. Hours later, I found my grandchildren and others too. I was so relieved.
“We don’t know what we are going to do about the crops. It was time to harvest corn and plant the paddy. We had lost potato too in the frost during winter as we had huge snowfall this year.”
It is terrifying how landslides can wipe away people’s lives, homes, and livelihoods – they strike without warning, and cause immense suffering in the blink of an eye.
It is often the most disadvantaged communities who live with the greatest risk of natural disasters, because their homes are in poverty-hit Terai plains or remote hillside villages.