Rapti floods threaten settlementsAs Rapti River swells, Nakhelal Mallaha who lives at the river bank, is taking no chances.
Last year, his house and land was cut off due to the overflowing river and he is staring at another monsoon menace this year. “There is no place to go to save ourselves. I hope this boat will coast six to seven people to safety,” he said.
But not everyone in the area knows how to build a boat nor do they have anywhere to go for shelter. “Floods have already swept away my house and land. The river is heading towards us, again,” said Sabitri Barma of Pahadipurwa, with tears welling up in her eyes. She complained that the local administration has ignored their concerns. Residents of settlements at high risk are looking for safer grounds. About a dozen families in Fattepur VDC are fearing for their lives as Rapti River is heading towards Khalla Jhagadiya village. “The river has already cut off the nearby road,” local Durgalal Pandey said. “The police station and health post are also at risk.” The locals have started keeping vigil at the rising water level.
President Ram Baran Yadav, during his recent visit to inspect the situation after the flood displaced several families in the village, had promised that he would ask the government to arrange for alternative settlements. While the villagers await the government resettlement package, they are threatened by floods again. Eleven villages in Fattepur, including Piprahawa, Deupura and Sarra are at high risk.