BAJURA, July 18
“It feels somehow safe during the day, but as the night sets in, we are in constant fear that a landslide might struck and we might get killed,” said Dhane Sarki of Badhu VDC-9, Pipaldali, Bajura, one of the settlements which is at high risk of landslides. Dhane, a freed Haliya, says there is no option than to leave the house and go to the nearby school to live during monsoon.
Like Dhane, there are 19 freed Haliya families in Pipaldali who are facing landslide risk with the onset of monsoon.
“Landslide risk is there but we do not have any other option,” said local Gangaram Lawara, adding, “The only thing we can do is run to nearby safe places when it rains.”
As many as 140 households are vulnerable to landslide risk here, but 19 houses of freed Haliyas are at extreme risk and need urgent relocation.
Three years ago, four people had lost lives to landslides here.
“We were lucky that we could manage to run to safety. Now whenever it starts raining, the three-year-old incident haunts us,” said Pyauli BK. “In case of a similar disaster, the elderly and children are going to suffer.”
It must be noted that Department of Geology had recommended relocation of Pipaldali village about three years ago, given the vulnerability of the area to landslides. Then prime minister Baburam Bhattarai had also given assurance that the village would relocated, but nothing has happened so far.
“Every time they just give assurances. It’s the poor people like us who have to suffer, as we are left with no option than to continue living here despite knowing that our lives are at risk,” said Naradip Bada.
Meanwhile, dozens of other human settlements in the district are also said to be at risk of landslides. Brahmatola’s Ammakot and Bajedi, Jagannath’s Saune Gaun, Kailashmandau’s Kalapani, Barhabisa’s Juwapani, Jugada’s Pata, Kuldevmandau’s Nimani, Martadi’s Jilli and Sappata’s Rudi are some of them which are at risk of landslides.