Nepal (MNN) — Several days of nonstop monsoon rains have triggered floods and landslides throughout India and Nepal. So far, the deluge has claimed at least 150 victims in both countries.
Chittry* works with Asian Access in Nepal: “More than 82 people died; I think the number will increase,” he says.
“Christians [and] all Nepali people are suffering at this moment, so we need prayer support.”
Disaster agencies are still trying to access flood zones to help survivors and assess the damage. According to the latest United Nations update, “unseasonal” rains “have left a wake of deaths, missing persons, damage to roads, bridges, hydropower stations, and other physical infrastructure, as well as heavy agricultural losses due to flooding and landslides across the country.”
The agency expects an October 29 update to reveal more information. Flooding is seasonal in South Asia, typically coinciding with the summer and winter monsoon seasons. More about that here.
Last week’s flooding intensifies the fallout from previous disasters in Nepal. People were starting to get back on their feet after the devastating 2015 earthquake, Chittry says, but then came the COVID-19 pandemic. “People suffered a lot and didn’t have a job,” he explains.
“[Then], this very unusual monsoon came and the flood. Many people right now [are] really struggling. It is very difficult to bear.”
Local Christians tell Chittry they’re facing a food crisis. “Many rice paddies are covered with floodwaters, and many, many farmers are weeping,” he says.
“[They are] saying, ‘how can they support the family in coming days?’ because all the crops were damaged.”
Nonetheless, believers do whatever they can to show neighbors the love of Christ. You can send tangible support through Asian Access here.
“What the government [is] not able to do, the churches are reaching out and trying to help in the time of need and crisis in the community,” Chittry says.
“In the midst of their own need and difficulties [they are] extending a loving and generous hand to meet the needs of other victim(s). That is a great joy to see.”
The Bagmati River, considered holy by both Hindus and Buddhists, runs through the Kathmandu valley of Nepal before joing the Koshi River in the Indian state of Bihar. The header image shows the river in flood stage during the 2016 summer monsoon season. (Wikimedia Commons)