Nepal | May 30, 2020

Flood victims concerned about future

Prabhat Kumar Jha
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Rautahat, July 15

Living in the open for a few days now after the recent floods drove them away from home, the flood victims of Rautahat are worried about food and shelter.

Ever since she was displaced from her home, the 16-member family of Janakidevi Raut, 55, of Durga Bhagawati Rural Municipality has been staying on the banks of the Gandak canal, living off noodles, biscuits and beaten rice. “Having braved the worst two years, I had not imagined that we would be struck by another flood of the same magnitude. As the floods have swept away everything, I don’t know what to eat for food and where to hide our heads,” the woman wondered.

Another local of the same place, Ram Lakhan Das, 65, has been left homeless ever since his residence collapsed. “We are eight persons and we are now staying at our neighbour’s home. As we don’t have our home and we can’t stay at others’ home for long, I don’t know what we’re going to do,” he said, lamenting the delay in relief distribution.

Ram Lakhan linked his plight to the poorly constructed embankments on the Bagmati and Jhajh rivers. “We poor people have to suffer from floods every year. Enough is enough. I would rather the floods swept us away than go on living in this pathetic condition every year,” he said.

Around 200 households of the Dalit settlement in Badaharwa are now living under tents on the western embankment on the Bagmati River.

According to Durga Bhagawati Rural Municipality Chairperson Arun Kumar Sah, around 40 families of the displaced are taking shelter in Safe Shelter. According to local Rajesh Kumar Chaudhary, some of the displaced victims are kept in local schools and community buildings and are provided with free meals. “There is need to help the victims keeping in view their condition,” said Chaudhary.

Meanwhile, District Ayurveda Health Centre Rautahat ran a day-long free health camp in Ganga Pipara of Durga Bhagawati Rural Municipality for flood victims. Ganga Pipara is one of the worst flood-hit places in the district.

A version of this article appears in print on July 16, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

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