People rendered homeless await resettlement in MusikotFollowing the July 2 landslide, residents of Musikot in Gulmi have been demanding that the municipal office move them to a safer location.
Govinda Sarki and his family from Musikot in Gulmi have been taking shelter at a local school building after a landslide destroyed their house and property on July 2.
The Sarki family, along with 15 other families from Musikot village, was displaced by the July 2 landslide. They have been taking shelter at Shree Nera Tribhuvan Secondary School for the last two-and-a-half months.
“All my properties were swept away by the landslide. I have nothing left now. We don’t know where to go after the school reopens,” Govinda said.
According to the displaced families, they are barely surviving with the help of reliefs provided by Musikot Municipality.
“We don’t know when my house will get swept away. The house and the courtyard have developed cracks in the landslide,” said Nanda Bahadur Sarki, another displaced victim. “The landslide has made us refugees. The entire settlement has developed cracks. There’s no safe place for us in the village.”
The entire village is at high risk of landslides, as it lies on steep land, the villagers say.
Following the landslide, Musikot villagers have been demanding the municipal office to move them to a safer location. Sudip Khatri, a displaced victim of Musikot Ward No. 2, said he has been taking shelter at his relative’s house in a neighboring village since the disaster.
“It's been almost three months that we left our settlement. But the municipality has not done anything to resettle us. We are feeling neglected,” said Khatri, requesting the government to take the matter seriously.
Dhal Bahadur Khatri, a displaced victim of Musikot Ward No. 2, said, “We cannot stay in our settlement now, as it is at risk of landslides. The authorities concerned need to move us to a safe location.”
Out of a total of 50 households in the ward, 20 have been displaced by the landslide.
“The July 2 landslide displaced 16 households and the remaining four were displaced by the landslides triggered by rainfalls in the last three days,” said Laxman Khatri, the ward chairman. “Some of the displaced families are taking shelter at a school building while some are staying at their relatives’ houses. There is no other alternative than to relocate the families to a safer location.”
According to Musikot Municipality Mayor Somnath Sapkota, his office is searching for safe locations for the resettlement of the displaced households.
“We, in coordination with the provincial government, plan to develop an integrated settlement for the displaced households,” Sapkota said.
Meanwhile, 17 houses of Kothiya Maidan in Shitaganga Municipality Ward No. 12, Arghakhanchi, were swept away by a landslide on Friday. The municipal office has shifted 18 other households that were at high risk of landslide to various locations in the municipality.
Surya Prasad Adhikari, mayor of Shitaganga Municipality, said, “We are searching for a safe area to relocate the displaced families.”
The landslide damaged more than 700 ropanis of fertile land in the municipality, villagers say.
Every year, the risk of floods and landslides keeps on increasing in Province 5. According to the data of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Law, 170 people were killed and 306 houses were damaged by floods, landslides and other disasters in the province in the last fiscal year. In the current fiscal year, 70 people were killed and 107 sustained injuries in various monsoon-induced disasters, the data of the ministry showed.
The provincial government provides Rs 100,000 to those killed in floods and landslides and Rs 40,000 to the families displaced by such disasters.
Amrita Anmol in Butwal contributed reporting.