Parbat landslide victims receive homes within a year of the disaster19 families move into newly built houses after a year of struggle
Bam Bahadur Pariyar lost his house in the landslide of August 2018 which claimed his 16-year-old son. In the wake of the fateful incident, Pariyar took shelter in a makeshift home made of tarpaulin sheets, and occasionally in his neighbours’ houses. Pariyar’s family found itself in loose ends. “There was little hope,” Pariyar said.
But a year on, Pariyar, along with 19 other families of landslide victims in Parbat, celebrated this Dashain festival in a new house, constructed with the help from several organisations of Nepalis abroad.
A team led by Puran Giri, chair of International Parbat Society, and Yam Bahadur Malla, chair of Jaljala Rural Municipality, handed over the newly built houses to the landslide survivors just before the Dashain festival.
“We are excited to receive the new houses, grateful to the helping hands,” said Pariyar.
Jaljala chair Malla said that it was with joint efforts that the houses were completed at a time when several earthquake survivors in the district are yet to build their houses with the government’s help. “We hope the completion of this project sets an example across the country,” Malla said, adding that his office has requested help from the provincial government to control contingent disasters in the future.
The beneficiaries said that they have received what they had not imagined when the disaster occurred a year ago. “I hadn’t dreamed that we’d get a house so soon,” said Rupa Pariyar, another survivor. “I can’t express in words the joy with which we celebrated Dashain this year.”
The donor organisation had allocated Rs300,000 each to the families. The locals contributed labour. “Because the victims themselves were active in reconstruction works, the process took less time and money than expected,” said Hari Bikas GC, chair of Jaljala Ward No. 8.
But the risk of accidents remains, given the landslide-prone landscape the village is situated in.
“We have to be attentive about that too,” said Malla. “Much of the risk has already been mitigated, and we will adopt further preventive measures.”