Over 200 flood-displaced families under flimsy huts in biting cold in InarwaTo keep themselves warm, the locals make fire from hay and sit beside it all night.
More than 200 flood-displaced families of Inarwa, in Janaknandani, are living under flimsy huts, battling bone-chilling cold every night.
Their huts (which were near no-man’s land in the Nepal India border point) were swept away by the floods last monsoon. But till date, none of the authorities have paid heed to reconstruct their homes or to relocate them.
“My family of five has been compelled to live under a tent (provided by Red Cross) for the past five months,” shares Devi Sada, 76, of Inarwa.
Janaknandini Rural Municipality is located in the far east of Janakpurdham, the district headquarters of Dhanusha.
Bhagabdevi Sada, 79, of Inarwa, also shared similar sentiments. “Our hut was swept away by the floods during the monsoon. We lost everything. Now, we have no food to eat and warm clothes to protect ourselves during cold,” she said.
Most of the locals in the settlement work as daily wage workers to put food on the table. But because of the increasing cold, some are being unable to go to work these days. Dhamendra Goit, ward chairman of Janaknandani Ward No. 1, said, “They are compelled to stay indoors, as most of them don’t have warm clothes to fight the cold.”
To keep themselves warm, the locals make fire from hay and sit beside it all night. “We are unable to sleep during the night. That’s why we sit around a fire and spend the whole night that way,” said Kumari Sada, a 79-year-old local woman.
Bharati Karki, deputy chief of the rural municipality, said that the local unit does not have adequate budget to construct settlement for these landless people. She said, “We have demanded the necessary budget from the provincial and federal governments to construct temporary huts for them.”
A majority of children, senior citizens and postpartum mothers are facing difficulties due to the onset of winter. Nirudevi Das, 40, said small children and senior citizens have started to fall sick because of the dip in temperature. She said, “Poor people like us find it very difficult to survive winter. We have been greatly affected by the cold temperatures.”
The victims bemoaned that they have difficulties even to manage two meals a day. “How can we purchase warm clothes when we can’t afford food?” asked Das.
Karki, however, said the rural municipality has been planning to distribute some relief, including warm clothes, to the impoverished people. “We are in the process to purchase warm clothes,” said Karki.
In July, around 6,000 people were affected after the floods swept away houses and properties in Dhanusha. According to the data of the District Administration Office, more than 240 families living in Inarwa, Balahagoth, Prakhe Mahuwa, Khajuri Chanha, Patanuka and Balahakathal were displaced by the floods.