Massive fire destroys 120 houses in NarainapurMore than 68 families have been displaced by the fire that spread throughout the settlement of thatched-roof houses.
As many as 68 families have been rendered homeless after a massive fire destroyed 120 houses at Khodawa settlement in Narainapur Rural Municipality-4, Banke, on Saturday.
The fire broke out from an animal shed belonging to Fakir Khan and spread throughout the settlement of mostly thatched-roof houses, leaving no time for the affected families to salvage their food grains or belongings. Four people sustained injuries while trying to contain the inferno.
“I had stored seven quintals of freshly harvested wheat in my house. All my food grains and other valuables and clothes were burnt in the fire. How do I feed my family now?” said Pramod Yadav, one of the fire victims. “I request the people’s representatives and government authorities to provide us with immediate relief and help us reconstruct our houses.”
The fire victims are taking shelter in 40 makeshift tents installed by the rural municipality but they’re not enough to accommodate all the displaced families.
“We are working to manage shelter and food for the displaced families. We have also prioritised the reconstruction of their fire-ravaged houses,” Istiyak Ahammad Sah, chairman of the local body.
The district administration has also announced to provide immediate relief to the displaced families and take initiatives for their resettlement. Chief District Officer Ram Bahadur Kurumba said that the local administration will soon distribute Rs 20,000 to each household displaced by the fire.
“Discussions are underway with the Lumbini Provincial government regarding the distribution of aid for the housing reconstruction,” Kurumba said.
Fire incidents are reported frequently in Narainapur, a remote local unit in Banke about 40 km from Nepalgunj, the district headquarters. A couple of houses and sheds had been destroyed in a fire at Narainapur-1 last month. Similarly, two separate fire incidents had ravaged eight houses at wards 4 and 8 in the past few days.
“The risk of fire is very high in Narainapur, as the settlements consist of clustered houses with thatched roofs, making it easy for a fire to spread rapidly,” said Sujita Chaudhary, secretary at Narainapur-4.
The rural municipality has allocated Rs14 million for disaster management this year. However, the local unit is still unable to carry out preparedness works effectively to prevent and control disasters like fire and flood.
Meanwhile, in Jumla, a fire broke out at Dhipugaun of Tila Rural Municipality-9 on Sunday, destroying 35 houses. The fire was yet to come under control as of Saturday night. Security personnel of the Nepal Police and Armed Police Force have been sent to the incident site to douse the fire.