As winter bites, hardship of Lidi landslide survivors worsensMany landslide displaced families have been living under makeshift camps without adequate warm clothes.
Thirty-five-year-old Jyabarani Tamang lost her home when a massive landslide struck her village of Lidi in Jugal Rural Municipality, Sindhupalchok, on August 14
Thirty-three people perished in the disaster that buried 17 houses damaging several others.
Since the incident, Jyabarani has been living in a temporary shelter with her four-month-old daughter. The new mother is constantly worried about her child’s health now that the winter has set in.
“When we wake up in the morning, our bedding and clothes are drenched in dew. The nights are frosty,” Jyabarani told the Post on Wednesday afternoon.
As many as 170 landslide displaced families were put up in a camp of makeshift tents in Bashkharka Community Forest at Jugal Rural Municipality Ward No 1 following the disaster. Like Jyabarani they have been living in pitiable conditions.
Many displaced people have returned to their landslide-ravaged settlement as they could not endure the cold sleeping under flimsy tents without adequate warm clothes.
But there are still around 70 families who are languishing in the camp.
“I have lost many relatives and villagers in the landslide. All my land was swept away. So I don’t want to go there. But staying here under a tent is getting very difficult,” said Jyabarani who lost her uncle, aunt and other relatives in the calamity.
The landslide survivors have complained that the people’s representatives and the government authorities are indifferent to their plight. They have been demanding safe and permanent relocation, but to no avail.
“People had gradually started moving out of the settlement after the earthquake of 2015. Then this year in August, the landslide drove away almost all of us,” said Resham Dong, another landslide survivor. “Life has been hard living under a tent in this cold.”
The children and elderly people have been affected the most.
Pratap Lama, the ward chairman of Jugal Ward No 2, says his office was aware of the hardship faced by the landslide survivors
“We have requested the rural municipality and the district administration for their resettlement. We know the problems of the landslide displaced families, but it cannot be solved by the ward office,” he said.
The locals of Lidi village have been enduring natural disasters one after another in the past few years. Almost all the houses had been destroyed by the 2015 earthquake and its powerful aftershocks. Ten people were buried alive and a few others were injured in the disaster.
The villagers had to leave their settlement as Makhlo hill just above the settlement caved in following the earthquake. They had urged the authorities to relocate them to a safer place, but their request went unheeded.
With no option left, they decided to live in the settlement by restoring their quake-damaged houses. The landslide of August has left the settlement in a complete ruin.
Once again, the villagers are demanding for resettlement. But just like in the time of the earthquake, they say the authorities are not listening.