Flood victims facing hard time

Surkhet, January 16

Hundreds of flood victim families staying in temporary camps at the Birendranagar-based Women Training Centre are faring very badly with their rehabilitation not happening any time soon.

“The tarpaulin that we got when we came here has become threadbare and we can barely protect ourselves from the morning dew, but there is no sign of any rehabilitation so far,” lamented Dhansari Sunar, a flood victim at the temporary camp.

Another flood victim Tulasi Sunar also dwelt on their ordeal of having to live in tents. “With the cold increasing, many have fallen ill,” she said, adding that children and elderly were the most affected.

Nearly four years ago, monsoon-induced floods and landslides in different parts of Surkhet claimed 115 lives, while around 1,000 families were rendered homeless. The victims are staying in temporary settlements in Girighat, Birendranagar, Chhinchu’s Masina, Babiyachaur and Taranga.

As per data with the district natural disaster rescue committee, the houses of 715 families were completely damaged and the houses of 215 families were partially damaged. Acting on the data, Urban Development and Building Construction Department Division Office, had provided Rs 50,000 to each of the families last fiscal.

But, the victims lamented that the mount was well below what would be needed to construct a house. “We can’t even build a latrine with a sum of Rs 50,000,” quipped a victim, demanding that the government make good on its promise of providing the pledged Rs 3 lakh for each family of victims to build their house.