Every time black clouds hover in the sky to the north, it brings worries.

As it rains in the hills, it pushes water level up in the Rapti River, which makes people on the river front worried and they start moving inland to safety.

It happens every year - it happened just a few days ago this year too. The reason is the embankment on the Rapti river, whose around 1-km stretch from Padanaha to Bisambharpur is dilapidated.

The embankment - Janatako Tatbandha - was built about a decade ago, but as it is now derelict it has put human settlements nearby at risk. Mostly, villages in Raptisonari Rural Municipality-7 are facing the risk emanating from the run-down embankment.

"The wire used in the embankment have rusted and ruptured, making the entire structure much vulnerable, but nobody cares to take the stock of the situation here and repair it if needed," said Rapti Sonari Rural Municipality-7 Ward Chairperson Ram Lakhan Tharu.

Tharu further added another eight kilometre of the embankment downstream is also in bad shape facing the risk of being swept away by the river when in full flow. He further said his office had frequently informed the office concerned about the need to repair the run-down structure but to no avail.

"How many times do we have to inform the embankment office about the need to repair the embankment?"

Tharu asked, adding people's lives were at stake.

A version of this article appears in the print on June 26 2021, of The Himalayan Times.