Saptari locals living in fear of floods

Rajbiraj, June 9

With the onset of monsoon, people residing near the rivers and streams in Saptari are living in constant terror of floods.

Jitan Devi Sada of Raghunathpur in Kanchanrup Municipality-9, Saptari, recalled how she had survived last year’s flood. “Monsoon has started, I am worried how I am going to save my kids if there is a flood this year?” Sada said.

The plight of Sada’s neighbour Shantidevi Sada is not different. Shantidevi said that swollen Sundarikhola nearby her house had swept away five houses last year. “The flood swept away and turned one and a half bigaha of the land she had been tilling barren last year,” she said. Shantidevi shared that she was able to survive the flood as she had run away with her kids. “Had we not fled, we would have died. I do not know what will happen this monsoon,” said a worried Shantidevi.

Sundarikhola had wreaked havoc after the stream changed its course and gushed into Raghunathpur by breaking the embankment.

According to local Ghuran Sada, the flood in Sundarikhola had washed away homes of Dev Narayan Yadav, Abadhi Yadav, Raj Kumar Yadav, Nawal Yadav, Ramkrishna Yadav. “Despite frequent visits by district level leaders and government officials, no one has shown concern about constructing embankment,”complained Ghuran Sada.

Ghuransaid  their hopes of being saved by the government from floods had been dashed. Floods had destroyed around 500 bigaha of arable land at Raghunathpur, Theliya, Bhediya, Gorpar, Wadahara, Subbatole, Trikaul and Giraha, among other places, last year.

Chief Bishnu Bahadur Bhandari at the District Soil Conservation Office, Saptari, said that inundation problem had increased as the

water level in the river had gone up.

“The earthquakes of 2015 and Chure erosion have led to the problem in the rivers,” Bhandari said.

Bhandari said lack of planned work for people’s safety and Chure protection increased the risks of inundation despite millions of investment for river control in the district.