Flood victims await relief, rehabilitation

I feel ashamed that the government led by my party has failed to distribute relief to victims

Shyam Chandra Jha, Nepali Congress mahasamiti member, Durga Bhagawati Rural Municipality, Rautahat

Rautahat, August 15

Hundreds of flood-hit families have been taking shelter at public places and local schools and living on empty stomachs for want of relief and relocation in Rautahat.

Public places and community schools along the Gaur-Chandranigahapur stretch are filled with flood victims. Those who could not find shelter there are living under makeshift tents, risking snakebites and awaiting government’s relief and relocation.

Victims from Dewahi, Rajpur,  Matsari, Gangapipara, Bhalohiya, Pacharukhi, Saruatha, Basantapatti,  Karuniya, Banjaraha, Auraiya, Inarwa, Katahariya, Hariharpur, Malahi,  Bhasedhawa and Tejapakad have been sheltering on the roadside or in  community schools.

Fifty Dalit families of Badaharwa are also among those living out in the open, while 10 displaced families are living on the roadside in Sabgadhaha of Gaur Municipality.  “We have been taking shelter in the open after the collapse of our house in floods. The government has remained apathetic towards our woes at a time when we don’t even have daily essentials,” bemoaned 50-year-old Parbati Devi Das, who was displaced from Durga Bhagawati Rural Municipality-4. The flood-hit areas, meanwhile, reek of animal carcasses and rotten food. Those stranded there fear outbreak of epidemic.

A large quantity of foodstuff, including rice, lentils and wheat stored in several godowns has gone rotten. Besides, floods have destroyed planted paddy and other crops. “The floodwater gushed into the godown where we had stored hundreds of quintals of rice and wheat. We could not save even a single grain,” grocery trader Gopal Agrawal told THT, claiming that he had incurred a loss of more than Rs 5 million. “I feel ashamed that the government led by my party has failed to distribute relief to victims,” said Shyam Chandra Jha, Nepali Congress mahasamiti member and a resident of Durga Bhagawati Rural Municipality of the district. He urged the government to speed up relief distribution at the earliest.

Meanwhile, Chief District Officer Uddhav Bahadur Thapa claimed that a relief distribution team headed by Local Development Officer Umesh Basnet was formed and they started relief distribution today.

According to a guestimate, up to 90 per cent of Rautahat district was inundated. Twenty persons are feared to have died in floods in the district.