The past week the province of #Karnali and #SUSWA project municipalities have been in the news globally for terrible reasons.
Delayed monsoon rains have led to floods and landslides with casualties, injuries, missing people, damaged houses and nearly 3000 families displaced, across all districts SUSWA works in. Karnali highway, the only road connecting Karnali districts, is blocked by nearly a hundred landslides having occurred in the past week, with connections to resume next week at the earliest. The rain has finally relented, but in the video below you can see what the flooding looked like only two days ago in one of the rural municipalities SUSWA is working with.
As the past week has proven, landslides, floods and natural disasters, exacerbated by climate change, are unfortunately common in Karnali, the hilly and mountainous province that SUSWA is being implemented in. Municipalities and communities cannot entirely stop disasters from happening, but they can be better prepared.
An important step is the concept of #WaterSafetyPlan (WSP)+++, which supplements the conventional WSP by also addressing climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction (+), operation and maintenance and water tariff collection (++), and social inclusion (+++). Water Safety Plans +++ is a tool for communities in Karnali to systematically take climate sustainability into account in each water scheme for community level climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction. In addition to ensuring technical sustainability, WSP+++ also aims to ensure that the voices of excluded and vulnerable members of the society are heard and their WASH needs and rights are included in the WASH planning process, with the intersectionality of e.g., disability and disaster impact being considered.
In line with this year’s #Internationaldisasterday2022 focus of target G of the Sendai Framework, the importance of ensuring availability of and access to disaster risk information and assessments for communities in Karnali has been highlighted this past week. Together with SUSWA the municipalities of Karnali will work ensure everyone is considered in inclusive disaster risk assessments, and that access to disaster information is relevant, available and accessible to community members of all genders, social groups and persons with disabilities. Working for Sustainable WASH for All in Karnali cannot be done without a focus on climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction.