In the last forty-eight hours surveillance operations have completed an initial accounting of the entire impact region. This has found even greater devastation in remote communities than had been anticipated. The death toll is now over 7500, but likely to increase. In the ascent to the High Himalayas whole villages have disappeared beneath landslides.
The United Nations Logistics Cluster is releasing detailed maps of these areas. Many show several place-names entirely detached from even tertiary roads. Long-used foot trails are impassable. In many places pedestrian suspension bridges have been lost. Already treacherous terrain is now totally changed and even continuing to shift.
Over 284,000 houses have been destroyed. More than 200,000 have been seriously damaged. This has also reduced foodstocks, seedstocks, agricultural tools, and other resources needed for recovery. The May 6 OCHA update notes:
Many people have lost their homes and livelihoods and will require time and support to access relief ahead of the monsoon season. People might have also lost their documentation which can make it difficult to settle land issues, if they arise. In addition, in some areas, recently harvested wheat and barley crops have been lost together with seeds required for the upcoming rice planting season. Ensuring that adequate support reaches those in need before the monsoon season begins is a top priority, thus, securing the pipelines and prepositioning of goods is critical…
2,693 metric tons (MT) of food has been dispatched and is currently being distributed in 15 districts. 34 MT of high energy biscuits were distributed across the affected districts. Food assistance activities using cash are being planned in Makawanpur based on the market functionality assessment… Rice seed needs to be procured and distributed to farmers within the next three weeks.
Distributing cash — often through hiring focused on community recovery tasks — is one way to begin to replace the “push” of humanitarian logistics with the “pull” of supply chain recovery.