That the fear of cholera has created an exodus from the various villages of Doti district in the Far Western Development Region comes as a shocking piece of news. Cholera has resulted in the death of at least 14 people in the district. The disease is water-borne and preventable with the use of clean drinking water and fresh food. And, this is the very reason to be ashamed as well for the government which cannot even fulfil the primary tasks of providing clean drinking water and the requisite ORS to the people. This story has come from the remote villages in Doti district, which makes it all a mockery of the government that harps on the Millennium Development Goals in health. Just two years back the scene was much more tragic in Jajarkot and other districts. Last year too there were many deaths due to cholera which can be prevented easily if the right precautions are taken. Now, what makes the cholera epidemic all the more pathetic in terms of the apathy exhibited by the government and the district health delivery services is that the people have left their villages for their sheds in the upper part of the hills or gone to India. Even the Nepali migrant workers in India are not coming back fearing the disease, and instead have called their family members here to join them.
The desolate look of the villages concerned is quite shocking. The people are scared because they seem to have lost all hope in the fight against this type of severe gastroenteritis. And, the village residents have seen many of their folks succumb for the lack of timely medical intervention. It is quite disappointing that the people have to leave their villages because of the threat of the disease. It calls for immediate relief from the health department and the ministry in the form of the aid of health professionals and medicines. The exodus from villages is evidence of the fact that the health professionals had not reached the villages concerned to assuage the plight, both through medical advice as well as treatment. But, over and above all the supply of potable water is a long-standing one which has only been the topic of speeches and promises. The nutritional status too may be disarming. All these are the outcomes of poverty, lack of awareness and other factors.
The outbreak of water-borne diseases like cholera are prevalent especially during the monsoon season, which everyone ought to be aware of. However, the government or the Health Ministry and the local administration ought to know better. When it is well-known that cholera, typhoid, jaundice and so on strike very hard during the rainy season, there should have been the preparedness level to meet the emergency. But, as usual, the government wakes up only when the crisis grows in proportion, and results in the death of many people. One may just wonder where are the health plan and policies of the government. However, the immediate task at hand for the government and its line agencies is to provide all that is possible to see that cholera spread comes under control and the people concerned receive potable water and adequate supply of nutritious food, and much-needed medicine.
The number of cases of theft and burglary in the Kathmandu Valley was the highest in the year 2011-12, as per the three year data of the Metropolitan Police Commissioner’s Office. This indicates that the law and order situation has been deteriorating over time which is a matter of serious concern.
The police say that they are taking steps to curb such crimes, but the figures show that they are on the
rise, despite such measures taken by them. It is high time that some effective steps were taken to avert such crimes. Despite the intensified formation of settlement security groups to fight crimes locally as a police-public partnership, it does not seem to be working going by the alarming figures of theft and burglary. Each incident involved in stealing or burglary of property is worth to the tune of Rs. 1,00,000 on an average.
Since these crimes are frequently committed
by known gangs of goons, the authorities should always be monitoring their activities so that
untoward incidents do not take place. Meanwhile, the police-public partnership should be taken up seriously as it appears to be one of the best ways to prevent these crimes.