Hansapur folk risking life and limbLocals of Jabune Village in Hansapur-1, Pyuthan, have been compelled to take risks due to the lack of safer means to cross Rapti River.
Locals of Jabune Village in Hansapur-1, Pyuthan, have been compelled to take risks due to the lack of safer means to cross Rapti River.
Wading the river has been the only way to reach to the nearest place with a road connectivity. The residents of Jabune could not send their children to school for at least five months each year due to the rain-swollen river.
As there is no school in the village, around 12 children of Jabune have to trek to Ratamata Primary School in Jaluke VDC, Arghakhachi crossing the river. Villager Man Bahadur Khamchamagar said the children have to walk two hours to reach school from Jhilibang in Bangesal.
“Our children cannot go school alone due to the dense forest along the way,” he said.
“We cannot wade across the river carrying our children from June to December,” said Khamchamagar, adding that lack of a bridge over the river has been a barrier for children to even complete primary education.
Most of the villagers wait until their children reach eight to admit them in a school. The villagers take turns wading across the river to take the children to the school each day.
Villagers complained that their vehement requests to the local bodies to build a suspension bridge have fallen on deaf ears. Local Dilkala Khamcha said there are 14 families living in the village.
“We are facing hardships to take sick people to health facilities. If people fall sick here, we are compelled to take them to faith healers,” said Dilkala.
She explained that the village can be connected with Jaluke in Arghakhanchi only after the water level recedes in December. Villagers admit how their heart grows fonder when they see vehicles plying the road across the river in Ratamata. “It’s our dream to see vehicles here,” said Dilkala.
The villagers are now pinning high hopes on the prospect of Naumure Hydropower Project near Jabune. Local Development Officer Indra Prasad Basyal said he would coordinate with his counterpart in Arghakhanchi for an effort to build a bridge across the river as the area lies on the border between Pyuthan and Arghakhanchi districts.