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Hundreds of villagers in Nepal are either dead or missing after heavy rains triggered landslides, reports Plan International.
Torrential downpours across the mountainous country have caused widespread flooding, blocked roads and destroyed bridges.
Damaged infrastructure is hampering relief and rescue efforts with 298 killed and 153 still missing.
“The rain has stopped and water levels are going down but there’s an increased danger of disease as family toilets are damaged and full of water,” says Plan’s emergency response manager in Nepal, Dr Chandra Kumar Sen.
“Drinking water taps and hand pumps have been destroyed and contaminated by flood waters.”
More than 100,000 villagers have been forced from their homes by flooding, living in makeshift shelters.
Aid workers for Plan are distributing supplies including tents, blankets, mosquito nets and mattresses.
“Families also lack firewood to boil water and cook food safely. A few cases of viral fever and diarrhea have already been reported,” says Dr Sen.
“Pregnant women and mothers of newborn babies are currently staying in shelters and public places surrounded by contaminated flood waters – there’s an increased danger from mosquitoes and snake bites.”
Relief work is focusing on getting life-saving aid to those who need it and ensuring children are safe.
“As families and children are staying in public places there’s an increased risk of abuse and exploitation, especially for vulnerable groups such as adolescent girls,” says Dr Sen.
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