Rains brought by cyclone Yaas send flood displaced scrambling for shelterFamilies displaced by last year’s flood in Dhorpatan Municipality of Baglung yet to receive government-announced relief.
Families displaced by last year’s flood in Dhorpatan Municipality, Baglung, have been greatly affected due to heavy rains brought by the effect of cyclone Yaas.
On September 2 last year, rain-swollen Bhujikhola stream had swept away 126 houses in Wards 8 and 9 of Dhorpatan. The disaster killed as many as 22 people while 15 others are still unaccounted for.
The displaced families have been living under flimsy huts ever since. But the rainfall over the past couple of days has once again sent them scrambling for shelter.
“We were taking shelter in a hut waiting for relief to rebuild our houses. But it’s been raining for days now and we cannot stay in the filmy huts anymore. Where should we go in the upcoming rainy season?” said Hum Bahadur BK, who has been staying at a neighbour’s house with his two sons.
He had lost his wife and sister in last year’s flood.
Hum Bahadur complained that the government authorities have ignored the situation of scores of flood-affected people in the municipality.
Following last year’s flood, high-level government officials had reached the flood-and landslide-hit area and announced relief packages for the victims. The then Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa had announced that the federal government would provide at least Rs 300,000 to each family displaced by the floods and landslides to reconstruct their houses. The Gandaki provincial government had also declared support of Rs 100,000 per family and Dhorpatan Municipality had pledged to provide additional amounts for the reconstruction of private housing.
None of the packages has reached the victims yet.
Around 40 flood-displaced families are now taking shelter at their neighbours’ houses.
Many flood displaced like Hum Bahadur are concerned for their safety with the onset of the rainy season. They are neither able to reconstruct their flood-ravaged houses nor have they received any relief from the government authorities so far.
Nearly Rs 30 million was collected with the help of the municipality, various organisations and individuals for the relief of the flood victims. But the municipal office has yet to release the collected amount.
“The victims are yet to be provided with the relief amount to reconstruct their houses. They visit my house asking for help but I am unable to help them,” said Hari Bahadur Gharti, the ward chairman of Dorpatan-8. “I have requested the municipality to release the relief amount several times but to no avail.”
When asked, Mayor Dev Kumar Nepali said that the relief amount is deposited in a bank account. “We will distribute the relief amount soon,” Nepali said.
Rain wreaks havoc in several places
In Tanahun, a 62-year-old woman of Bhadgaun in Byas Ward No. 1 died in a landslide triggered by continuous rainfall at 1am on Saturday. Deputy Superintendent of Police at the District Police Office of Tanahun Yubaraj Timilsina said, “The critically injured woman died while being taken to the District Hospital for treatment. Her house sustained damages in the landslide.”
In Manang, a flooded Ghatte stream damaged six hotels in Chame, the district headquarters of Manang, on Friday. According to DSP Subash Khadka of Manang, the floodwaters inundated 20 houses in the area.
“The incessant rainfall caused massive floods in Chame,” said Chief District Officer Bishnu Lamichhane.
In Gorkha, a wooden bridge was swept away by the flooded Machha stream on Friday, according to Santosh Gurung, chairman of Dharche Rural Municipality. Continuous rainfalls have also caused a landslide near Tatopani Kunda, he said.
According to Dilip Gurung, ward chairman of Dharche Ward No. 1, over 20 sheep were buried to death in a landslide at Tanji Kharka.
In Sindhuli, the structure of an under-construction bridge over Sunkoshi river in Nawalpurghat was damaged by floodwaters on Friday. According to the contractor company, 40 metres of the bridge’s structure was damaged by the floodwaters. The proposed bridge connects Phikkal of Sindhuli with Champadevi of Okhaldhunga district.
(With inputs from our correspondents in Gandaki and Bagmati Provinces.)