Relief materials donated during 2015 earthquake rotting away in godownThe district natural disaster management committee three years ago had doled out around 200 quintals of rice sacks from the godown, suspecting that they could rot away.
The relief materials that were donated during the 2015 Gorkha earthquakes are rotting away in a godown in Ramechhap district.
While a large portion of the donated materials like rice sacks, tarpaulins, blankets and tents were distributed to quake victims, some of the goods were stored in the office of the District Coordination Committee (DCC) for emergency use in case of future calamities.
“The relief materials stored in the DCC have been damaged by rats. Almost half of the goods cannot be used now,” said Shambhu Bahadur Budhathoki, office chief at the Nepal Red Cross Society in Ramechhap. On the recommendation of the district administration office, the Red Cross has been given the responsibility to distribute the relief in times of natural calamities. According to Budhathoki, around 7,000 tarpaulins, 70 blankets, 35 plastic sheets, nine family kits and two tents are in the godown now.
The district natural disaster management committee three years ago had doled out around 200 quintals of rice sacks from the godown, suspecting that they could rot away.
And last year, the committee distributed relief materials to each local unit in the district by forming a local disaster management committee. Each local body was provided around 200 to 300 blankets and 400 tarpaulins to be distributed to the victims of natural disasters like fire, flood, landslide and earthquake. There are eight local units in the district.
The local bodies, however, said they were unable to distribute the relief materials provided by the committee.
“The tarpaulins are too small while the blankets have been damaged by rats. We could not distribute those materials, as the people expressed their ire at being given damaged goods,” said Sher Bahadur Sunuwar, chairman of Umakunda Rural Municipality.
Meanwhile, the district natural disaster management committee admits poor management in storing relief goods in the godown.
“We will assess the stored relief materials and make a plan for their management,” said Chief District Officer Rudra Debi Sharma, also the chief of the district natural disaster management committee.