Flood-hit make a beeline for power centre for relief

KATHMANDU: A group of flood victims from the flood-hit Far-Western region have arrived in the capital to press for adequate relief. The government has been accused of providing only a paltry relief to the region battered by unprecedented rain and flood. The victims, who arrived on the eve of the International Disaster Reduction Day (IDRD), today, said they have gotten nothing from the government.

Dhan Sara Sunar, 34 of Vajini VDC-9 in Kailali arrived here today seeking the relief. "I have to feed six members in my family. The walls of my house have collapsed, paddy field is covered with three-feet-tall sand and our clothes are swept away by river," she lamented. The flash flood in Sunar's VDC killed three. One has gone missing.

"For three days after the tragedy stuck my VDC, we had to rely on beaten rice and instant noodles distributed by the Red Cross," she said. Two packets of beaten rice and four packets of instant noodles were given to each family.

The victims are submitting a memorandum of demands before the government and the President tomorrow. The government report cited that the flood and landslips kill more than 1,000 people and destroy property worth Rs 1.208 billion every year. Professor Jiba Raj Pokharel, an expert on natural disaster, said that the government was short of the capacity and strategy to tackle the natural disasters. Experts have outlined a disaster reduction strategy, which will be made public tomorrow, on the occasion of ISDR Day, said Ramchandra Neupane, chief of the ECO-Nepal.

"We urge the government to include it in its future policies," he added. A study reveals that about 97 per cent of people in Nepal are prone to natural disasters. The study has shown that 40-80 people die of cold-wave alone, annually.