Nepal | April 03, 2020

‘More to be displaced with onset of monsoon’

Himalayan News Service

KATHMANDU: The International Organisation for Migration has warned of a worrying increase in post-earthquake displacement in Nepal as it releases the second round of results from its Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM).

According to the report released this week, the number of displaced people is set to rise still further as monsoon begins this week.

The IOM analysis focused on data collected from 49,118 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in 77 priority sites, hosting more than 50 households.

When asked about the biggest obstacle to returning to their intended destination, 68 per cent indicated a damaged or destroyed house, followed by lack of personal security (11 per cent) and damage to basic infrastructure (8 per cent).

“One of the most striking findings of the second DTM is that people are still arriving at displacement sites more than a month after the second earthquake,” said Wan Sophonpanich, Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) cluster coordinator for the IOM Earthquake Response Team in Nepal.

Among the 77 priority sites assessed, 11 had residents arriving as recently as last week. With the monsoon season beginning, corrugated galvanised iron (CGI) sheets (30 per cent ) and tarpaulins (23 per cent) were the first-priority on list of non-food items (NFIs) among IDPs, while blankets (28 per cent) and kitchen sets (26 per cent) was the second-priority.

Gaps and concerns were also identified during the analysis of the second round DTM. Less than half of the sites have access to health facilities while diarrhoea diseases have been reported as the most common health issue.

Only half of the IDP displacement sites have access to water on site; for 45 per cent of sites, the nearest access to a water site is more than 20 minutes’ walk away; in 80 per cent of the sites, no education support was available for children.

Over 45 per cent of the sites report that women and children do not feel safe on the site; merely 4 per cent of sites have been providing access to livelihood support on site, whereas 65 per cent residents who have lost their land have been relying on farming as the primary source of income.

“It is important that these gaps be addressed as soon as possible, otherwise the IDPs will be more vulnerable when the monsoon season begins,” said Maria Moita, IOM Earthquake Response Team leader. “We will continue to gather specific information on the nature of displacement, mobility of population and needs and gaps in temporary displacement sites so that assistance is provided in a timely and efficient manner, ultimately helping people to get home as soon as possible,” she added.

A Return Intentions Survey has started in Kathmandu Valley on the back of this DTM round 2, targeting roughly 1,700 households, to better understand IDPs’ living conditions and plans for the coming months, and to analyse the factors that may help or hinder their return home.

The results of the survey, in conjunction with the DTM data, will provide vital information on IDPs’ needs for supported return and help with inputs for future programming — by IOM and partners — on recovery and reconstruction.

The DTM is an information management tool, rolled out in the immediate aftermath of the Nepal earthquake by the CCCM cluster to gather baseline information on the nature of displacement, mobility of population, needs and gaps.

IOM, in its role as CCCM Cluster Lead Agency has been conducting DTM assessment and analysis from the onset of the earthquake response


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