Fake earthquake victims disrupt data collectionElectronic data collection of earthquake victims has halted in Baseri VDC of Dhading after fake earthquake victims began pressuring the suveyers to list them as ‘A’ grade victims.
Harihar Singh Rathaur & Sudip Kaini
Electronic data collection of earthquake victims has halted in Baseri VDC of Dhading after fake earthquake victims began pressuring the suveyers to list them as ‘A’ grade victims.
Surveyors said they had to stop their work after a group of people approached them showing ID cards of earthquake victims they had obtained dishonestly and demanded to be listed in the list of victims.
Samjhana Lamichhane, a member of the survey team, said some local even used threats to coerce them into putting false information in the database.
“Some of them approached us with the demand of separating their family members and listing them as the victims whose homes were completely destroyed in the earthquake,” said Lamichhane.
The surveyors could not do their job after the local political leaders also sided with the fake earthquake victims. They halted the data collection and reported the incident to the local administration.
Local Development Officer Bhagawan Aryal said there was no obstruction in other VDCs.
One thousand and seventy-two families have received ‘A’ grade quake victim’s
ID cards in Baseri and they have collected the relief materials accordingly.
Information Officer at the District Disaster Management Committee, Bhola Gautam, said 213 more families have appeared in Baseri claiming to be quake victims when the official data has already put the number at 1,072.
Caterpillar infestation in quake-hit settlements
The earthquake survivors at Saurpani, Swara, Laprak, Gumda, Manbu and Kerauja VDCs in Gorkha have complained of caterpillar infestation in their settlements.
“After the earthquake, we are now suffering from caterpillar outbreak. They are everywhere, crawling inside our tents and on our beds,” said Ganesh Gurung of Laprak.
Uttar Bahadur Gurung of Swara said the caterpillars have become a major nuisance for the earthquake victims. “They are giving us allergies and rashes. The children are more vulnerable,” he said.
Many people complained of eye infections and skin rashes on their children because of caterpillar hairs.
Laxman Gurung of Manbu said even the places where they store food are not safe.
The forest is full of it, he said. “Even the fodders for cattle are heaving with caterpillars. Our animals are dying.”
Salina Gurung of Thotneri settlement of Swara VDC said seven cows in her settlement have died after consuming caterpillar-infested fodders.