Itahari, September 4:

Around 2,600 flood victims, who have been taking shelter in Sunsari’s Haripur, have no alternative to drinking contaminated water of the Saptakoshi river.

The relief programmes launched by the government and donor organisations are being centred in Inaruwa, forcing the flood victims, sheltering in tents in Haripur-2, to consume contaminated water.

Following this, an outbreak of diarrhoea has spread here. Yet the relief agencies have not given any attention to supply potable water to this camp.

A victim, Surya Dev Mandal, said though they managed to take shelter, they have

been facing a problem of drinking water. “Despite several requests, the administration has paid no attention to install a hand-pump here. Scores of people have fallen sick due to the contaminated water.”

Seven persons have already died of diarrhoea in three days, while at least 25 persons are critically sick. A Nepal Army physician, Dr Beena Basnet, held unsafe water responsible for the outbreak of diarrhoea in the area. “It is sad to hear that the displaced are drinking water directly from the river,” she said. “Floodwaters could pose serious threat to their health. It may cause even cholera.”

Officials of Sarada Group, who reached the area with Nepal Army physicians, upon hearing that the displaced are consuming contaminated water, have assured to provide 10 hand-pump sets. “We were moved by seeing their plight. We are ready to extend every possible help,” they said.

More displaced have been falling preys to diarrhoea, according to doctors. A displaced, Rahman Miya, said that the administration has turned a blind eye to the problem.

Meanwhile, garbage dumped in Sunsari’s Inaruwa-based Bhagwati Secondary School has been spreading bad stench in the temporary camp there. The temporary camp, which remained in such a sorry state, is just 100 meter away from Chief District Officer Durga Bhandari’s residence. The open toilet is also adding to the problem.

Bhandari said that a large number of displaced people made the place filthy, adding that he would soon direct the concerned authorities to solve the problem.

The displaced have alleged that the foodstuffs they were provided with were stale.

Some of them declined to receive, saying that the food and vegetable are stale.

Meanwhile, a group of Muslims mercilessly beat up a Dalit woman on the charge of standing in queue with them for food. The police said the inured woman belongs to

Musahar community and is undergoing treatment. The police had to lathi-charge to disperse the rowdy group.