Landslide-displaced families in Dolakha village await reliefBagmati provincial government had assured relief amount and relocation three months ago but the displaced families are yet to get the promised help.
It has been three months since a landslide swept away the house of 38-year-old Rupmaya Potrel. She has since then been taking shelter at a community building. The resident of Raniban in Kalinchok Rural Municipality-5 says the Bagmati provincial government has assured her six-member family of temporary relief and rehabilitation to a safe location but she has yet to receive the promised help.
“The visiting government officials had promised Rs 25,000 to help us make a temporary shelter. But we haven’t heard from them or seen them since then,” said Rupmaya. “I don’t know how long we can stay in the community building. Festivals are around the corner and we don’t even have a house.”
A devastating landslide erupted in the settlement some three months ago. The landslide is still running and so far has swept away 14 houses and put 40 other houses at high risk.
Prem Bahadur Lamgade, a chronic kidney patient, is another victim of the landslide and shares the community building with Rupmaya and other displaced families. Lamgade, like Rupmaya, is waiting for government assistance so that he can move out of the community building.
“We have been awaiting the promised help to reconstruct a house in a safer location. The government teams did not even give us temporary relief. We are in dire need of whatever help they can give,” said Lamgade.
“I am dependent on medications but now with no money or land to till, I feel dejected,” he said. The landslide had swept away his house and land leaving him with only the clothes on his back.
On August 7, Saraswati Basnet, the then Minister of Social Development, and Keshavraj Pandey, the then Minister of Internal Affairs and Law, in Bagmati Province conducted a field inspection in Raniban and said the government would provide Rs 25,000 to each displaced family as a relief. However, the amount is yet to reach the victims.
A majority of the 14 displaced families are staying in temporary sheds built near the community building since the assigned building is not big enough to accommodate them all.
The other 40 families whose houses were partially damaged by the landslides have now returned home.
“We removed the landslide debris and moved back to our damaged house. We waited for almost two months for help from the government but no help was forthcoming. We had no other option but to move into our house which is still at risk of being swept away by the landslide,” said Uttar Kumari Thami, a landslide victim of Raniban.
According to her, her family had stayed under a temporary shed for almost two months after the disaster.
Subash Thami, ward chairman of Kalinchok-5, said that since the landslide hasn’t stopped, at least 150 families in the ward are at risk of being swept away.
“They have to move out of the village in case of heavy rainfall. We plan to provide some relief to 20 families at immediate risk within a week,” said Thami.
“The preliminary report suggested that 93 families had fallen victim to the landslide in Raniban. But we are collecting the data again to forward it to the provincial government,” said Thami. “Hundreds of ropanis of arable land plots have been swept away by this year’s floods and landslides in the ward.”
Chief District Officer of Dolakha Tekraj Niraula says the Ministry of Social Development has allocated Rs 1 million to the District Administration Office as relief amount for the disaster victims.
“The money will be distributed to the landslide-displaced families. We will start the distribution of relief after formulating a working guideline soon,” said Thami.