Nepal | July 09, 2020

Tehrathum fire victims reeling under water crisis

Himalayan News Service
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Sankranti Bazaar, December 18

The fire victims of Sankranti Bazaar, who lost their property to a fire that spread at Aathrai VDC of Tehrathum on Friday, have been reeling under food and water crisis after the disaster.

As many as 71 families of 28 households have taken shelter under the open sky since the incident. The victims have been facing acute shortage of drinking water after the water pipes were burnt in the blaze.

“Houses, clothes and all the food grains were completely destroyed,” said Lila Kaderiya, a victim. She said more than 2,000 locals of Sankranti Bazaar were struggling for drinking water and food ever since the blaze gutted the bazaar within minutes.

Kadariya urged the concerned authorities to at least repair the pipes at the earliest to ensure smooth supply of drinking water.

Another victim Lila Kumari Magar, whose hardware shop was gutted, said her family was taking shelter in her neighbour’s house after the blaze engulfed her property. As many as 28 houses of the village turned into ashes while three others were pulled down to bring the fire under control.

It has also been reported that property worth Rs 270 million was destroyed in the blaze. But the administration has yet to collect details of the total damage. Schoolgoing children are unable to attend schools after the disaster.

“The kids’ uniforms and other clothes were destroyed. They are unable to attend classes as they have nothing to wear,” said Durga Gurung, a victim. She said the Rs 300,000 that she had collected to build a house also turned into ashes in the incident.

The victims are struggling for daily meals as well as clothes to fight against the freezing cold. The condition of the elderly, women and children is worse. The victims complained that they were suffering from cold related diseases.

“We sit in the sun during the day time to remain warm, but chilly nights are most difficult to survive,” the victims said.

Though a meeting of the District Disaster Rescue Committee had decided to shift the victims to Trimohan Higher Secondary School, the decision has yet to be implemented.

The District Disaster Rescue Committee, Tehrathum; Panchthar Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Phidim and Nepal Red Cross Society, Panchthar among others have been collecting and distributing clothes and food items to the victims. Chief District Officer of Tehrathum Munaka Neupane said some non-food items and relief materials were brought in a Nepali Army helicopter.

Similarly, Panchthar Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Phidim; Construction Entrepreneurs Association, Panchthar; Aathrai Samaj and Red Cross Society, Panchthar; among other organisations, have also provided relief materials to the victims.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs Bimalendra Nidhi, who had reached the incident site yesterday, had said that the government would not compromise in offering relief and resettlement to the victims.

A version of this article appears in print on December 19, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.

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