Relief distribution hits snag in central, eastern Tarai

Kathmandu, August 24:

The flooding in different parts of Tarai has claimed about 148 lives and 472,280 people have been directly affected in the last 45 days.

The devastation, which started from July 10, has directly affected 47 districts of the Tarai. About 70,522 houses have been destroyed and 24,116 families displaced. Among the 47 affected districts, Saptari, with 67,717 victims, is the most affected district.

Data of the Nepal Red Cross Society (NRCS) shows that Dhanusa, Mahottari, Siraha and other districts of the central and eastern Tarai have been highly affected by the flooding, but the distribution of relief materials in these parts have been slower than in other flood-hit districts.

Indra Prasad Adhikari, director of the Communication Department, NRCS, said that, though highly affected, the central and eastern parts have failed to get relief as per the need.

Security, transportation and communication problems have hindered the easy flow of relief in the central and eastern Tarai, said Adhikari. Politically, the eastern and central Tarai are in crisis. Unrepaired roads and lack of adequate communication facilities have complicated the situation, he said.

Adhikari said that people in these parts have merely received emergency materials. “As a detailed assessment of the situation has started, we will be able to know the exact situation soon.”

However, the western Tarai has received adequate relief. People are receiving relief from different organisations for resettlement, said Adhikari.

The NRCS said it has received Rs 4.7 million from the government, organisations and people. It has distributed food items to 151,200 people and non-food items to 9,762 families. Over 1,000 Red Cross volunteers are engaged in the distribution of relief.