Two Lamjung villages in grip of landslip fear

Lamjung, July 8

Landslips have terrorised the locals of two villages for years in Lamjung.

The onset of monsoon has put residents of Bhoje at Kwholasothar Rural Municipality and Upper Chipla of Marsyangdi Rural Municipality under the risk of mudslide. Fear of landslip has led to displacement of locals from their birthplace in the two villages.

Locals from Bhoje and Chipla spend sleepless nights due to fear of landslide every monsoon. All arable land in these villages has been swept away. Landslide displaced six families at Bhoje last year. Local Ward Secretary Takma BK said 30 families are on the verge of being displaced by the landslide. According to BK, villagers cannot sleep soundly for fear of a landslide.

Recurring landslides below Bhoje village have cause displacement of locals this year as well. The family of Maikhu Gurung is taking shelter at the building of Mothers’ Group after the risk of landslide increased. Locals Suk Bahadur Gurung, Tirthmaya Gurung, Tek Bahadur Gurung and their families have left their home and are sheltering at their relatives’ house, according to Ward Chair Dil Kumari Gurung. She said landslide was about to sweep away ten houses. “Some have migrated to Pokhara while some are sheltering their relatives at the village,” Gurung said.

Gurung recalled that the landslide started hitting the village some 29 years ago. “Villagers have shifted to other places fearing death,” she informed. Locals say landslide from Khyumarkhola has been hitting the village. “The landslide has put as many as 56 families at risk in the village,” Gurung said.

A team comprising experts on geology, water-induced disaster management and others had carried out a study on the landslide last year. An expert on soil conservation and water source management Ramesh Silwal advised shifting of human settlements from the village. Then District Disaster Rescue Committee had concluded that Bhoje village was threatened by landslide and had recommended rehabilitation of human settlements to the Central Disaster and Rescue Committee after the April 25, 2015 quake struck the country.

Some fund was collected to construct makeshifts tents to shift 33 families to Dhanujabesi immediately. Locals, however, have sought permanent relocation.

Similarly, a landslide has already displaced eight families at Chipla. According to Bel Bahadur Gurung, 17 houses at lower Chipla and 22 houses at upper Chipla are at high risk of landslide.

Five families from upper Chipla have left their place and migrated to Kramuche danda and Proju. .

According to locals, Chipla had as many as 85 houses earlier. But, the number has dropped to 40 now. The landslides have swept away 1,100-hectare land in Chipla.

Lamjung District Disaster Management Committee has recommended the National Reconstruction Authority to immediately relocate people from three villages.

CDO Jhankanath Dhakal said that the committee had recommended NRA to relocate 22 families from upper Chipla, 33 from Bhoje and 12 from lower Majhkharka to safer places pronto.