Kathmandu, May 13
Although a year has passed since the devastating earthquake of April 25, 2015, survivors in Bhaktapur have yet to receive help promised to them by the government.
Quake victims in Sano Byasi, Chokha, Liwali, Guhe pokhari, Bhelukhel, Ga-Kiba 2, Garud Kaundal, Bade 7, Thulo Byasi, and Dekocha still live in temporary camps and shelters.
As many as 57 families live in the same territory in Byasi. With monsoon looming large, the victims are apprehensive about what is to become of them.
Seventy-year-old Puspa Suwal said, “We are facing a lot of problems. To this day we have no alternative but to stay in camps with no personal space.” The elderly added, “When strong winds sweep through the camps, we have to hold on to the rope fastened to the tarpaulins to make sure they don’t get blown away. When it showers, rainwater leaks through the patches of the tent and we have to live in knee-deep water.” Lack of safe drinking water and poor sanitation pose serious threats to their health.
Some children in the makeshift shelters have contracted chicken pox and the elderly have been suffering from seasonal flu, as there are no proper sleeping arrangements for them. “Many children have taken ill thanks to poor sanitation and congested space,” said Ramita Suwal, 37.
Karuna Byanju, 18, an 11th grader at Bageshwori College, is worried about her studies. “My exams are approaching but we don’t have any lights in the camp,” she lamented.
Rameshwor Koju, an official at the Office of Bhaktapur Municipality said, “We have been distributing tents and providing financial assistance to the people so that they can build temporary houses for themselves.”
A version of this article appears in print on May 14, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.