Quake-hit students deprived of shelterStudents living in hostels of various schools in northern Gorkha villages are compelled to live under tents as almost all buildings in the area were destroyed due to the April 25 earthquake.
Students living in hostels of various schools in northern Gorkha villages are compelled to live under tents as almost all buildings in the area were destroyed due to the April 25 earthquake.
Children in Barpak, Kerauja, Sirdibas, Laprak and other villages in the region have been facing difficulties in the winter season as hostel buildings are yet to be rebuilt and their houses are far away. Santu BK of Kerauja Secondary School said they have no alternative other than living in the tents though dew drops seep through at night. “We cannot even rent rooms near our school as most houses in the surrounding settlements have been destroyed.”
Like Santu, Sunita Gurung of Ranchet also shared a similar ordeal. “I have been compelled to live in a makeshift hostel as it takes almost three hours to reach the school from my house,” she said, adding, “We cannot sleep at night due to the chill.”
Their problems worsened as temperatures started decreasing with the onset of the winter season.
One hundred and fifty students of Buddha Secondary School in Sirdibas are living under tents after the quake destroyed their school hostel. Teachers said classes have been affected due to cold. The quake had destroyed 4,216 classrooms in the district. District Education Officer Hari Aryal said they are going to begin the first phase of school reconstruct works. He said Japan International Cooperation Agency assured them of rebuilding 200 schools in the district.
Displaced complain of severe cold
Rajendra Manandhar (Dolakha)
A large number of quake-displaced people in the district have been facing problems with the onset of the winter season.
Many of them said they have been sleeping on hay mattress as they lack warm clothes or proper beddings.
Seventy-year-old quake survivor Laxmi Mijar of Namdu-8 said she cannot sleep well at night due to severe cold. “As we do not have warm clothes, we are sleeping on hay mattress,” she said. Mijar, who lives in a hut with her visually-impaired husband, said she would be really if someone provided her some warm clothes for the winter.
A majority of quake survivors in Namdu-8 said they are waiting for Rs 10, 000 as a winter relief. District Disaster Management Committee, however, has decided not to distribute the winter relief to the village immediately.
Local authorities said they need around Rs 850 million to distribute winter relief to quake-hit families in the district but the government allocated just Rs 500 million. Chief District Officer Devendra Lamichhane said they will distribute the relief amount to quake-affected families in northern village in the first phase.
Meanwhile, quake-hit families in Thotneri said they are facing difficulties spending in their huts due to severe cold. “It is like sleeping inside a cold store,” a local said, informing that they could not constructed warm shelters due to the shortage of galvanized zinc sheets.
Villagers in Thotneri said though most quake victims live in huts constructed using old galvanized zinc sheets and bamboos, they were even deprived of such shelter as construction materials meant for them looted on the way.