Kailali windstorm victims deprived of reliefAround 7,000 houses damaged in Kailali district, among them 2,116 destroyed
Nara Bahadur Kami, a resident of Shantinagar in Dhangadhi, along with her family have been taking shelter under a tree after a raging windstorm blew away the roof of his house on Thursday.
The Kami family could not salvage food grains, clothes and other valuables from the disaster. Nara Bahadur, an electric rickshaw operator and the family’s breadwinner, is workless, as he could not recharge his vehicle due to power disruption in the area. The family is now in dire need of food and shelter.
Nara Bahadur reached the Dhangadhi Municipality Office on Sunday expecting support, but he had to return home with a heavy heart, as the mayor merely handed him Rs 2,000 in cash.
“What should I do with Rs 2,000? Where should I take my children to spend the night and how long can I feed them with the money?” Nara Bahadur said.
Nara Bahadur’s case is not the only one in the district, as more than 2,000 families in Kailali are deprived to relief even after three days of the calamity.
“The gale blew away our house, so we have been taking shelter under this torn tarpaulin. We barely manage to get two meals a day. Many people have visited us and inquired on our situation, but none have provided any relief,” said Jasmin Chaudhary of a freed Kamaiya (bonded labourer) camp in Milanpur.
Two people were killed and many others were injured as the windstorm tore through three western Tarai districts of Kailali, Kanchanpur and Bardiya on Thursday evening.
According to the District Administration Office in Kailali, around 7,000 houses were affected by the windstorm. Among them, 2,116 houses were destroyed. Assistant Chief District Officer Mohan Joshi said Dhangadhi Sub-metropolis, and Kailari and Godawari municipalities were hit hardest by the gale. According to Joshi, the local administration started providing immediate relief to the victims. Two-hundred-thirteen tarpaulins have been distributed to the windstorm victims in the district so far.
Meanwhile, the Sudurpaschim Province government has announced to provide Rs 150,000 to the family of those who lost their lives in the windstorm. The government has also declared to provide Rs 20,000 to each house that was destroyed and Rs 10,000 to the partially damaged ones.
However, the civil society leaders and intellectuals have lambasted the federal government of not paying any heed to the plights of the victims.
“More than 7,000 houses were damaged in the windstorm. Electricity and drinking water supplies have been disrupted, and infrastructures worth millions of rupees have been destroyed. But the authorities have failed to carry out effective relief works in the affected area,” said Khadka Raj Joshi, a civil society leader of Dhangadhi.