After disaster, Bara and Parsa villages face risks of disease outbreakIn the aftermath of the windstorm disaster, survivors in villages of Bara and Parsa districts are at risk of diseases, according to doctors who visited the disaster zone.
In the aftermath of the windstorm disaster, survivors in villages of Bara and Parsa districts are at risk of diseases, according to doctors who visited the disaster zone.
Sunday night’s windstorm killed 28 people, 27 in Bara and one in Parsa, destroying 940 houses and causing varying degrees of damage to 955 others. Thousands of people have been rendered homeless.
Survivors who have been living under the open sky for the past several days may contract diseases if no immediate action is taken, doctors told the Post.
“Chances of outbreaks of waterborne diseases—diarrhea, dysentery, jaundice, typhoid, cholera, hepatitis A and E—are high after a disaster,” Dr Bibek Kumar Lal, director at Epidemiology and Disease Control Division who returned to Kathmandu after visiting Pheta village of Bara on Tuesday, told the Post.
Pheta was the worst affected by Sunday’s rainstorm which reduced almost all the houses in the village to rubble within minutes.
The Epidemiology and Disease Control Division has supplied water-purifying kits but the situation, according to volunteers involved in rescue efforts, is still chaotic and as a result, people have not been able to follow the instructions properly.
“There are piles of garbage all over the area. Open defecation is rampant. Bodies of animals killed in the disaster are yet to be managed,” Raunak Sarraf, a volunteer with Sano Paila, an NGO which has been distributing relief materials in the affected villages, told the Post. “Summer has already set in and the villages are infested with mosquitoes. Flies are everywhere.”
Survivors from villages told the Post that the immediate concerns are sanitation—clean drinking water and toilet—and protection from insects.
“We could not sleep in the night due to flies and mosquitoes,” Anirul Necha, a 30-year-old woman of Purainiya village, told the Post over the phone. Necha gave birth to a child on Sunday morning at her mother’s home, where she has come to receive post-natal care. But her mother, 55, along with her father, 65, were injured when the house succumbed to high-speed winds. “My three brothers who were trapped in the debris were rescued later,” said Necha.
According to Necha, buffaloes and chicken that were killed in the incident were buried nearby on Tuesday evening only. “I spent the whole night protecting my child from mosquitoes.”
Health workers said survivors immediately need mosquito nets.
“Cooked food and mosquito nets are what survivors need urgently,” said Lal. “But I saw aid workers were distributing noodles and biscuits only.”