Flood-displaced families in Myagdi await relocationIt’s been almost a year since the disaster but the displaced families are still living in temporary huts.
The families displaced by last year’s landslide in Ramche, a remote village in Dhaulagiri Rural Municipality-7, Myagdi, are still living in temporary huts. They say they are worried about their future, as the government has not done anything for their resettlement.
“We neither have a safe place to build a house on nor have we received any help from the government,” said Naresh Lamgade, one of the displaced people. Lamgade and his family have been living in a poorly built hut made of zinc sheets since their house was swept away by last July’s landslide.
The situation of Lamgade’s neighbours is also the same. A total of 23 households in the rural municipality were displaced in last year’s landslides. The displaced families, mainly from the impoverished communities, are impatiently waiting for relief and resettlement from the government authorities.
Meanwhile, last year’s landslides have left Phagam village in Annapurna Rural Municipality-3 uninhabitable. Geologists have recommended the authorities to move the settlement to a safe location. But the villagers are reluctant to leave their farmlands and move far away.
“How can we survive without our farmland?” said Amrita Phagami, a resident of Phagam. “We heard that the government wants to move us to a faraway settlement but we don’t have any other skills besides farming. We need our farmland.”
As per the data available at the District Disaster Management Committee in Myagdi, a total of 1,068 families were displaced by last year’s landslides and floods. On the basis of data collected by the local units, the District Police Office and based on field reports of various individuals and organisations, the committee has recommended the federal and provincial governments to relocate 1,068 households of 81 different settlements in Myagdi to safer locations at the earliest.
Myagdi is one of the worst-hit districts in the country by water-induced disasters. According to the data available at the provincial Ministry of Internal Affairs and Law, a total of 31 people have died, five others gone missing and 636 families displaced in separate incidents of landslides and floods in the district since June last year.
The district administration admits to the delayed relocation process of the displaced families.
“We have sent the details of the displaced families to the National Reconstruction Authority through the federal Ministry of Home Affairs,” said Chief District Officer Ganesh Adhikari. “It’s been almost a year since the disaster but the budget is yet to be released. As a result, the relocation of the displaced families has been delayed.”
Meanwhile, the local units say they have taken initiatives for the relocation of the displaced families. The ward office of Dhaulagiri Rural Municipality-7 is planning to build two integrated settlements for 23 displaced families. The ward has purchased 16 ropanies of land in Ramche and 12 ropanies of land in Askare at the cost of Rs 5 million for the construction of the integrated settlements.
“We are working on getting drinking water and electricity to the area,” said Rajaram Subedi, the ward chairman of Dhaulagiri-7. “We will expedite works on the integrated settlements once the centre releases the budget.”