Nepal | August 08, 2020

Five days on, Barekot landslide victims still waiting for relief

Himalayan News Service
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Five days after landslides claimed about a dozen lives at different places in Barekot Rural Municipality, the displaced lot are still waiting for relief.

While 11 people died in the incidents, one is still missing.

Two injured persons, , are undergoing treatment at Kohalpur Medical College now.

Days after the incident, authorities are struggling to ascertain the details of the damage caused and the number of displaced families.

Regarding the displaced, while the District Administration’s data puts the number of displaced families at 213, police data puts it at 376 families, the rural municipality’s data has put the number at 840.

Saying that details of the damage caused by monsoon-related incidents were still coming in from some wards, the local body estimated the number of displaced families could be well beyond 1,200. Local Nepali Congress leader Bedraj Singh accused the government of being apathetic to the need to provide relief to the displaced.

“There are a lot of displaced families that need relief. The local administration had sent data of 213 displaced families till Saturday to the government, which is not fair,” he said. In view of the confusion, the Disaster Management Committee of the district convened today and decided to confirm details of the damage and the number of displaced and then recommend for relief.

“A decision was taken to immediately send non-food relief to 75 families through the Red Cross and request the central government for food, tarpaulins and blankets,” said Chief District Officer Janakraj Panta, who conceded that collecting details has been difficult due to disruption of communication and transportation services.

According to Barekot Rural Municipality Chairperson Mahendra Shah, a team of ministers had flown to the landslide site with some relief recently.

“Though a team including Chief Minister Mahendra Bahadur Shahi and Forest and Environment Minister Shakti Bahadur Basnet flew in here with some relief, it was simply insufficient for the huge number of affected people,” Shah said.

According to a report prepared by locals, around 800 families have been displaced in villages such as Jiri, Tallo Jiri, Dhaulakot, Maina, Tolakhana, Kalakholi, Bhailokhana, Dhuma, Dhaulakot and Kotli in landslide incidents that occurred in Barekot.

In Barekot itself, two persons are missing in floods.

While the majority of the displaced are staying in school buildings, others are sheltering in cowsheds and with their kin at safer places.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on July 15, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.

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