Doti school at high risk

Dipayal, March 30

Siddheshwor Secondary School at Sikhar Municipality in Doti district is in a precarious position. The school is at great risk of being swept away by an erosion caused by the Seti River.

The Seti River erodes land from its banks every year. “We are filled with fear every time the water level rises in the river,” head teacher Mahesh Kumar Bhatta said.

A teacher at the school Man Bahadur Rokaya said that while classes of the lower secondary and secondary levels have been shifted to a safer pace, primary level classes are still running from the part of the school at high risk of erosion.

The school has eight buildings — one with four rooms, and seven with two rooms each.

Rokaya said that although the river used to be at a great distance from the school in the past, it has now reached the school premises.

He said that a flood had swept away the school’s boundary wall and playground seven years ago.

“This school has more than 400 students from grades VI to XII. The river has put all our lives at risk,” he added.

Head teacher Bhatta said that they did not have the funds to shift the school to a safer location.

“We are having a hard time paying the salaries of the teachers who were hired privately. Investing in school infrastructure at a safer site is impossible for us right now,” he said.

The Banlek VDC Office and Banlek Health Post in the same area had earlier been shifted to different places because of the danger posed by erosion of the Seti River.

The school, however, remains put in its extremely dangerous position.