Doti earthquake victims languish in tentsSix people died, seven injured and hundreds were displaced in the November 8 quake.
Almost three weeks since they were displaced by an earthquake, hundreds of families in Doti are still awaiting rehabilitation. With the winter cold already setting in, the survivors are having a hard time living in temporary shelters.
The earthquake victims complain that the authorities concerned have completely ignored them and their hardships. The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Authority has not yet assessed the damage caused by the earthquake, they say.
“We have been languishing in tents in the cold. We don’t know how long we have to stay here. The displaced families are quite worried as the government has so far remained silent on our resettlement,” said Padam Singh Bohara of Gairagaun in Purbichauki Rural Municipality-3. He lost three family members in the disaster.
The authority’s team is yet to visit the quake-affected settlements in Doti to assess the damage. Chief District Officer Kalpana Shrestha said she had no knowledge of the technical team’s arrival from the centre to the district. “The district administration has managed food and other relief materials for the victims. But the reconstruction process is yet to begin. We cannot say anything about the reconstruction of the quake-ravaged houses now,” said Shrestha.
It is still not clear whether the federal, provincial or local governments will carry out the reconstruction work for the quake-displaced families. “We are coordinating with the federal government, provincial government and other authorities regarding the reconstruction work. But the authorities have not decided about the reconstruction yet,” said Ram Prasad Upadhyay, the chairman of Purbichauki Rural Municipality.
Upadhyay said the rural municipality would construct temporary huts for the displaced families if the federal and provincial governments did not take immediate initiatives for the rehabilitation of the quake-displaced families. According to him, the rural municipality aims to build 120 temporary huts for displaced families within a few weeks.
Six people died, seven were injured, and hundreds were displaced by the magnitude 6.6 earthquake. As per the preliminary data collected by the Doti chapter of the Nepal Red Cross Society, 1,011 houses were completely destroyed, 120 houses were partially damaged and 3,037 houses were affected by the November 8 earthquake.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Authority says that it will soon pay a field visit to assess the damage caused by the earthquake in Doti and Bajhang—the remote hill districts of Sudurpaschim Province. Dijan Bhattarai, the spokesperson at the authority, said that a joint team of the Ministry of Home Affairs and the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Authority would visit Doti this week.
“Visit to the quake-affected districts has been delayed due to the federal and provincial elections held on November 20. The decision about the reconstruction process will be made only after the field inspection of the affected area by the technical team,” said Bhattarai. It is estimated that it will take around two months to visit all the quake-affected settlements in Doti and Bajhang and prepare a report.