Victims shiver as parties bickerAfter bone-chilling cold started to grip Chankhu, where temporary shelters have been set up for quake victims, they have now started to move towards Singati bazaar in Dolakha district
Quake-hit awaiting relief
Rajendra Manandhar (Dolakha)
After bone-chilling cold started to grip Chankhu, where temporary shelters have been set up for quake victims, they have now started to move towards Singati bazaar in Dolakha district.
The migration of quake victims from highlands, where temperatures drop to near freezing, in a desperate measure to avoid biting cold is a clear manifestation of government’s apathy towards them.
“I have migrated to Singati with my family members to avoid cold,” said Temba Sherpa of Chankhu.
Even after eight months since the April earthquake, the victims have been living in temporary shelters, with minimum support extended to them by the government, which only on Tuesday tabled the Reconstruction Authority Bill.
In the absence of the Reconstruction Authority, which has been in limbo, not a single penny from more than $4.5 billion pledged by the donors has been spent so far. Chankhu lies at an altitude of more than 2,500 metres from the sea level. With no materialistic or any other support from the government to shake off the cold, the victims here are left with no option than to move to south in Singati, at an altitude of 1,100 metres, in hopes that weather would be warmer there by some degrees. Quake victims of about one and a half dozen VDCs have moved to Singati.
“Bone-chilling winds lash the area and dew seeps through the blankets in the night,” said Temba. “We get panicky when the night sets in.”
Flood-displaced out in cold
Kamal Panthi (Gulariya)
Scores of families who were displaced by floods about a year and a half ago are still living in temporary camps in Bardiya. Now, with the onset of winter, their shaky tents offer little protection against bone-chilling winds that lash the area in the night.
“It gets very cold inside hut during the night,” said Bimala Bhandari of Gulariya-5. “I have been living with my kids for about a year and half in these flimsy structures waiting for some support from the government and parties.”
The elderly and the children have been affected the most.
Sixty-year-old, Ganga Shahi said the flood victims make bonfire in the night to keep themselves warm. “We cannot sleep in the night when temperatures suddenly drop,” said Shahi.
Stating that governments have been changed and different parties have come to power since they were displaced, the victims said all of them, however, have done precious little to make their lives better.
Most of the children in the temporary camp, where around 162 flood displaced families are living, are suffering from common cold and pneumonia.
Govinda Khatri, another flood victim, said the victims are getting worried by the day with political parties and the government at the centre busy in bickering than paying attention to their plight.
At least 30 people had lost their lives due to the floods in Babai river in August 15, 2014 and more than 90,000 locals were affected.