Sunsari squatters find no respite, lives at risk

Sunsari, August 27

The squatters, who were living on the banks of Budhi Khola in Sunsari, are facing a miserable situation after the floods swept away whatever they had for survival. They have been compelled to live on the river banks putting their lives at stake for the want of options.

Flood victims said they had been living under continuous fear. Having seen their relatives being swept away by the floods, the victims are in a traumatic situation. A flood victim said that deaths caused by the floods had created an atmosphere too terrible for them to live in the same place. As many as eight persons had died due to floods in the river on August 11 while many of them were displaced.

Earlier, the municipality office had shifted the squatters to Budhi Khola’s banks as they were living in the surroundings of a pond 23 years ago.

Rajesh Bhagat from the squatters’ settlement in Itahari-9 said that the authorities did not heed their problems. “The people of the area had been compelled to go through sleepless nights for the last few weeks,” he added.

Victims complained that besides providing some relief materials, no one had really done anything significant for their settlement. They added that the floods had swept away their temporary shelters and other properties. “How long can one live on charity?” they questioned. To add to their plight is the foul smell of dead animals that the river brought to their settlements.

They also warned of possible outbreak of epidemics due to poor sanitation facilities. “Even ambulances cannot reach their settlement in case of emergency,” said the victims. The very thought of approaching festivals saddens them as they do not see the possibility of rebuilding their shelters in the near future.