Nepal | August 04, 2020

90 houses at risk, 40 people sheltering in school

Himalayan News Service
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POKHARA, JULY 11

Carrying a 19-month-old child, Susmita Pariyar was searching for an apartment in Kharane Phant this afternoon. Since yesterday’s disaster that took the life of her neighbour Durga Bahadur Sunar in Paitedanda of Pokhara, she has been afraid of staying in her house in Paitedanda.

There are a total of 90 families on the Paitedanda hill. Most of them face the risk of being swept away by landslide. Susmita’s husband Man Bahadur’s family had shifted to Paitedana from Madi Taprang 10 years ago.

They were married three years ago. She has been living with her in-laws in Paitedanda ever since.

“As the entire hill has developed cracks, you never know when a landslide will occur and sweep away our homes,” said Susmita. “As we are scared of living on the hill, I’m searching for a room in Kharane Phant where we can relocate,” she said.

Her neighbours are also searching for an alternative place to live.

After yesterday’s disaster, 40 families living on the hill have been relocated to a nearby school with the help of various social organisations, but as most of them are daily wage earners, not all can afford a rented apartment.

Most of them also don’t have ownership certificate of the land they have been living in.

“In fact, we can’t afford to live in a rented apartment, but we need it for the safety of our child,” Susmita said. “My in-laws will live in our house in Paitedanda itself. We will come here with the child, spend the night and return home in the morning,” she added.

According to Kharane Phant social activist Sita Bhandari, there is confusion regarding how to manage people who have been temporarily kept at the local school. Two years ago, four persons of a single family died in a landslide during the monsoon in Paitedanda.

The place is perceived as landslide prone due to its topography.


A version of this article appears in e-paper on July 12, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.


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