Paltry relief for ravaged Far-West

KATHMANDU: Political leaders and human rights activists representing Far-Western region today grudgingly welcomed the government’s decision to allocate a relief package amounting to Rs 150 million for the flood victims. They have dubbed the amount as too little to give the victims a sense of relief.

Speaking at a function organised in the capital, political activists and rights groups criticized the government as being biased towards the Far-Western region in allocating the relief package.

“The allocated budget

is too little if one carefully analyses the extent of

damage caused both in terms of loss of lives and property,” CPN- UML leader Bhanu Bhakta Joshi, argued.

He demanded the government to increase the size of the budget and declare Far-West an emergency region.

State Minister for Water Resource and Nepali Congress leader Chandra Singh

Bhattarai urged the coalition government in Kathmandu

to announce a special

package programme instead of the paltry sum to ensure that the victims received a sustained relief and that could help mitigate recurring natural disasters in the region.

“A long-term strategy is required for the region to ensure that the people are safe from recurring natural disaster,” he said. However, Professor Bhim Dutta Bhatta and BD Chataut underlined the need of both long- and short-term strategies to cope with the aftermath of the problem.

UCPN- Maoist leader Lekraj Bhatta attributed the increased death toll to the

government’s poor handling

of the situation. “The government is a mute spectator to

the suffering and hardships facing the people of Far-West,” he claimed.

President of Far Western Stakeholder’s Forum Moti

Lal Bohora doubted that the relief package would reach the right persons. “A mechanism for fair distribution of relief aid is to be worked out, discouraging embezzlement of the funds. Monitoring of the relief and rehabilitation of the displaced is required.”

Bohara also painted a

dilapidated state of the

region’s roads, electricity and telephone services and said the reconstruction works needed to be carried out on a war-footing.

Landslide victim succumbs to injuries

Achham: A child from Patalkot VDC, who was displaced by the landslide

died in Achham, today. “Mansari Buda (3) was suffering from pneumonia and died for want of treatment,” the locals said.

Twenty persons were killed and 200 families were displaced in the landslide in Patalkot and Siddeshwor VDCs, recently. “Most of the displaced, mainly the children and the elderly are suffering from common cold, fever, pneumonia and diarrhoea,” said Khadga Bahadur Buda, a displaced. “We fell sick as are sheltering in tents and forced to consume contaminated water and beaten rice,” Nirmala Bohara, another displaced said. Added to the misery, the local health institutions have no health workers but peons to take care of the patients.

The displaced have urged the government to provide relief and health services at the earliest. CDOGyan Prasad Dhakal informed that the district health office has been asked to mobilize health personnel in the affected areas. — HNS