Squatters living in misery: Study

Kathmandu, February 13:

A majority of squatters living on the banks of Bagmati and its tributaries in Kathmandu are deprived of basic facilities, a study has found. According to the study, these people are working as daily wage labourers and the money they earn cannot buy these facilities.

Findings of the study, which was conducted by LUMANTI Support Group for Shelter, were made public today.

The study report has shown that 12,726 squatters are living in 2,735 households in 40 squatters’ settlements in Kathmandu. Fifty-three per cent of the households depend on daily waged labour; others depend on small business and services. The average monthly income of each household, which comprises five people, is Rs 4,173.

Half of the of 12,726 squatters are living in temporary houses; 15 per cent of the squatters’ households are without toilets. Members of these households defecate by the riversides. Toilet wastes are drained into rivers.

Sixteen per cent of the squatters’ households do not have access to electricity.

Forty-seven per cent of the squatters’ population fetch water from public taps, neighbours’ taps, public stand posts, stone spouts and tube wells.

The study was carried in the squatters’ settlements alongside Bagmati, Bishnumati, Hanumante, Dhobakhola, Tukucha.

Speaking at the programme, Lajana Manandhar, director of LUMANTI, said programmes should be launched to uplift their living standard, relocation (if needed), land readjustment and housing loans.

Prafulla Man Pradhan, programme manager of the UN-HABITAT, said recommendations made in the study should be implemented.