500 victims living under shadow of repeat landslide

Achham, August 27:

For three years, they have been living under fear of another landslide.

Their lives were ruined when a landslide rendered them homeless on the night of August 27, 2005. They have been living in temporary camps in Bhotedanda of Achham district with fear that another landslide may strike them anytime.

“Throughout the night, we pray to god to save us from another disaster,” said Harka Rawal, 30.

Of the 150 displaced families, 40 have left the village, while over 500 people have been taking shelter in the temporary camps.

The August 27 landslide had killed at least 12 people.

Bhotedanda is also prone to landslides. Bereft of their properties, the displaced cannot afford to move elsewhere. Fearing landslide, these people keep vigil. Children living in the camps are suffering from pneumonia, influenza and other diseases.

These children have stopped going to schools saying it’s no use taking classes when life is uncertain, a landslide victim, Naresh Rawal, said. He accused political parties and the local administration of not paying heed to their demands.

“We have no hope of life. The government had promised to arrange shelter for us in safer areas, to no avail,” Sarki Bhul, a displaced, said.

Meanwhile, CA member Sher Bahadur Kunwar said the government was making preparations to provide shelter to the displaced.