Badabaika residents initiate construction of embankmentA woman from each household in the settlement has come together to build a biological embankment along Banahara River to control erosion.
Sara Rana of Badabaika Tol in Krishnapur Municipality Ward No. 3 has lately been busy building an embankment along the Banahara River.
Besides Rana, one woman from each household in the settlement has been working together to build a biological embankment to stop erosion. There are 80 households in the Badabaika settlement that lies on the bank of Banahara River.
The women have been repairing a 50-metre-long section and building another 500-metre-long section of the embankment with the financial assistance of the ward office and the local chapter of Nepal Red Cross Society. The ward office and the Red Cross provided financial assistance to buy bamboo while the villagers have been donating labour.
Before initiating the construction work, the women were provided with training to build an embankment by using bamboo. A male member comes to work only if a female member of that household is unavailable, said Rana.
Each household of the settlement has come together to build the embankment, as they have lost vast swathes of their land to erosion in the past.
“The river has been eroding our fertile lands for many years. Many houses in our settlement are now on the verge of being swept away. That’s why we decided to dedicate our efforts towards saving our lands from erosion,” said Rana.
According to Rana, the river had swept away half a bigha of her land 12 years ago. “In the past decade, the river has changed its course towards the settlement. We must do something about it and do it fast,” she said.
Following massive erosion 12 years ago, the then-District Administration Office in Kanchanpur had installed gabion boxes filled with stones along some sections of the river to stop erosion. Some non-governmental organisations had also helped to build a biological embankment.
But the embankment has been washed away by the river.
“The old embankment and gabion boxes were gradually swept away by the flooded river so we decided to build a new one,” said Sukina Rana, another local woman involved in building the embankment.
“I lost around two bighas of land 12 years ago and I don’t want that to happen again,” she said.
According to Aasharam Badayak, the chairman of Krishnapur Municipality-3, Banahara River has swept away around 10 bighas of land belonging to 35 families in the past few years.
“The river has changed its course and is moving towards the settlement. Around a dozen houses are at risk of floods,” said Badayak.
He said the villagers took the initiative to build the biological embankment, as the government failed to construct a concretised permanent embankment along the river.
“The river will erode the embankment if nothing is done to stop it,” said Badayak. “The ward office does not have the budget required to construct a permanent embankment just yet. So the villagers decided to build the embankment on their own.”