Villages in Tinau at high riskAt least 80 families in three villages—Suketal, Deule and Paskund—are living in fear of landslides and floods caused by soil erosion in the Dobhan Kachal river.
Indra Kumari Somai of Deule in Tinau Rural Municipality-2 has not been able to sleep in her house for a year. Somai’s house was partially damaged by a landslide that swept away the hill her house sat on.
“We have been sleeping in a barn for a year now. When it is not raining, we sleep on the floor of the damaged house because the barn is quite small. But when it rains we don’t stay inside the house,” said Somai. “I reached out to the authorities seeking help to rebuild my house or to move us to a safer location but no one has listened so far.”
The family does not have enough money to buy land elsewhere and build a house.
According to Santosh Bahadur, Indra Kumari’s son, they sought help from the Division Forest Office, District Administration Office, Land and Water Resources Office, and the local level government but no help came.
Last year’s landslide in Deule also destroyed Krishna Kumari Somai’s house and cultivable land. She has built a new house on a farm in Upper Suketal village but is afraid that her new house too will be swept away by landslides.
“The landslide erupted only 10 metres away from my house and I know sooner or later it will sweep my house away,” said Krishna Kumari. “We don’t get any sleep during the rainy season. Eighty families in the villages of Suketal, Deule and Paskund are in danger of landslides.”
The settlements in Upper Suketal and Lower Paskund are also at high risk after the middle Deule hill was washed away by the landslide, she said.
According to Parshuram Lamsal, principal of Kalika Basic School, all three villages—Deula, Suketal and Paskund—are at risk of landslides after the hill in Suketal of Tinau Rural Municipality-2 got swept away. Due to the landslide, the foundation of the school has sunk and the landmass is beginning to form cracks.
“Parents have stopped sending their children to school after the foundation of the school building weakened following the landslide. Of the 150 students enrolled this year, less than 20 are attending school at present,” he said.
There are 80 to 90 households in the three villages and those with the resources have moved away. But the rest of the villagers have no option but to stay back in the landslide-prone settlement.
“The disaster has severely affected our lives and the education of our children,” said Lamsal. “It seems like the authorities do not care about the villagers here. Sooner or later, another disaster will take place while the authorities do nothing.”
The construction of a road leading to the limestone mining area of Alpha Construction and Developers Company in Suketal has also left several cracks in the landmass and this has given way to landslides. Around 10 households in the lower Suketal region are at high risk of a disaster.
According to Lamsal, Dobhan Kachal River has also started eroding the Paskunda village, putting the settlement at risk of floods and landslides.
According to Bhog Bahadur Lamsal, a local resident, in the last few years, the Dobhan Kachal River has breached about 10 metres of land in the area. Three years ago, roads were washed away in many places but no measures have been taken to prevent river erosion.
“The municipality is aware of the situation in the three villages. We will address the issue soon,” Sundar Prasad Shrestha, chief administrative officer of Tinau Municipality, told the Post.