Jan 16, 2018

A tale of two floods: Nepalese villagers move from fear to resilience

Mercy Corps/Emilie Rex

Laxmi and Mangal Chaudhary, two community leaders instrumental in Tilki’s resilience building efforts.

Zilient.org
Chet Tamang, Emilie Rex
December 29, 2017

There were no alarms, no warning, just the roar of debris-filled currents cutting new paths through fallow fields, then hand-sown crops on a crash course toward Tilki. Community members close to the water watched it swell where Banara and Machheli rivers met just upstream.

Reports of rising water spread quickly enough for Laxmi Chaudhary to collect some clothes and dry food and pull her two sons up to the lofted sleeping area inside their house. From there, they watched the murky waters rise, pouring in through the open entry way and destroying everything left below.

As the water surged a meter above the ground, she turned to see her four-year-old son, Bharat, falling from the ledge and his auntie, Sita, leaping after him.

“Splash sound travelled to my ears. When I turned back, I saw Bharat half drowned in the rising floodwaters and Sita trying to drag him from there,” recalled Laxmi. “I was so hopeless at this – ugly feelings of losing him choked my throat.”

Bharat’s name could easily have been added to the long list of those taken by the flood that September 19, 2008. With livestock, seeds, and homes destroyed, 49 of 52 households were forced to evacuate from Tilki.

Full article available at Zilient.org.