Kiln workers facing acute food shortage

Itahari, August 25:

Over 40,000 families of daily wage labourers working in brick kilns in the eastern region are facing an acute shortage of food due to closure of the kilns owing to incessant rainfall and flooding.

The brick kilns in Sunsari, Morang, Jhapa, Siraha and Udaypur have been closed for more than a month due to continuous rainfall, said Ayub Hussain, regional coordinator of the Nepal Construction Workers’ Association (NCWA).

He said 10,000 families in Sunsari, 12,000 families in Morang, 15,000 families in Jhapa, 2000 families in Saptari, and 1000 families each in Siraha and Udaypur were employed in brick kilns before the floods hit the region.

He urged the government to include these labourers and their families in the list of flood-affected people and provide adequate assistance to them.

Hussain said the Nepal Construction Workers’ Association would send memorandum to the Chief District Officers of the six districts urging them to ensure the livelihood, adequate wages and social security of the brick kiln workers.

The memorandum will be sent to the Sunsari District Administration first.

In Sunsari alone there are 30,000 brick kiln workers. The total number of brick kiln workers is estimated at 130,000 in all the six districts.

The Trade Union Congress has also urged the government to provide assistance to these brick kiln workers who are facing acute food shortage due to flooding.