Govt apathy riles flood-hit in far-west

Dhangadhi, September 23:

Flood victims in Kailali and Kanchanpur districts have accused the government of neglecting them.

The government is yet to dispatch relief to the flood-hit areas even as floods ravaged the districts four days ago.

“The President, the Prime Minister, the Home Minister and other high government officials paid immediate attention to victims of Saptakoshi floods by visiting the affected areas right after the floods. But they have not shown any concern about our plight,” complained a flood victim, Ram Prasad Chaudhary.

The flood triggered by incessant rainfall for two days claimed at least 40 lives in Kailali and Kanchanpur and displaced over 10,000 families. “We have lost everything in the floods. But we have got not even a single food grain from the government so far,” the flood victims of

Thapapur Village Development Committee shared their plight.

Kailali chapter of Nepal Red Cross Society (NRCS) said it was facing difficulties in distributing relief in the flood-hit areas because of shortage of delivery vehicles and waterlogged roads.

Nearly 50,000 people have been displaced by the floods in Kailali district alone, according to the NRCS. They have been taking shelter in schools, VDC buildings and open spaces.

Relief centres have been set up only in Bhajani and Hasauliya in Kailali, the victims said. Nearly 2,000 people have been rendered homeless in Thapapur, Bhajani and Khailad VDCs.

Relief stuffs were dropped five times in Bhajani in the last two days.

More than 100 families taking shelter in Bal Bidya Mandir in Pathraiya VDC complained that they did not get relief today as well. “We are staying here for the last four days but we have got no relief,” a flood victim, Nara Bahadur Bhandari, said.

Relief has also not been channelled to the victims sheltering in Rastriya Secondary School and Baghmara in Narayani VDC.

Temporary shelters in Mahendra Secondary School and Karmeshwor Secondary School of Lalbojhi, Fulbari’s Janapriya Higher Secondary School, Hasauliya’s Janakalyan Secondary School, Pathlaiya’s Rastriya Secondary School and a temporary shelter in Geta VDC received some relief assistance today, according to the victims.

Since the roads have been inundated, aerial drop is the only way of relief distribution in the affected areas, member of Kailali NRCS Sitaram Joshi said.

Simrik Air’s chopper that was used to drop relief on Sunday and Monday returned today, leaving only a chopper of Nepal Army for relief distribution.

“We will use land routes for relief distribution once the East-West Highway comes into operation,” Kailali chapter of NRCS said.

Two trucks, carrying relief materials, had headed to Udasipur and Hasuliya VDCs but were trapped because of waterlogged roads, Joshi added.