LETTERS: Database on floods

This has reference to the news story “Floods wreak havoc in Tarai districts” (THT, July 27, Page 5). Floods and landslides always become news headlines during the monsoon.

Most of the Tarai districts are inundated caused by heavy rainfalls which are also the source of regeneration of vegetation and paddy plantation.

As predicted by the forecast of weathermen, Nepal has also received more than average rainfall towards the end of July, the middle of the monsoon.

We will be receiving more rains in the coming two months during which many people are likely to lose their life and suffer from property damage due to floods and landslides. But our preparedness to deal with the natural disaster that occurs every year is pathetic.

The government does not have the institutional capacity to rescue the affected families and provide them with adequate relief assistance when they need them.

If we have advanced level of forecast system across the country we can at least warn the people living in vulnerable areas such as on the banks of the rivers and sloppy land in advance. The government has yet to develop database system as to which parts of the country are prone to floods and landslides.

If we develop a database system on these areas we can prevent people from settling in those areas and evacuate them from there and settle them in safer places.

Saroj Wagle, Bara

Missing people

I feel the anxiety of missing trekker Popescu Andina Monica’s family. The news of her missing was reported on July 24. My husband, Malaysian trekker Dennis Lee Thian Poh, went missing on the easy Annapurna circuit on April 5, 2015, sixteen months ago, not five months as reported.

With no guide or guidelines, unreasonable panic happened. Not knowing the language, and dare I add, being a woman and lack of (mis)communication were big hurdles at grass roots level.

The extensive search lasted from April 9, 2015 to the tragic April 25 when the devastating earthquake hit the Himalayan region. No trace of Dennis was found. My follow-up visit in September/October 2015 also failed.

I am sincerely grateful for all the help given to me in Kathmandu and Pokhara in April and September 2015. Sadly, I am deeply disappointed and distressed that persons responsible for the trekking and travel agents, especially the accompanying guides, porters and the yak house owner, who saw Dennis for the last time were not interrogated thoroughly.

No one has yet been taken to task or held responsible in any way.

Until trek organizers and guides, especially those who last saw him, and those who are responsible for trekking, are interrogated and action taken against them, the alarming reports of 400 people who go missing every year will continue to tarnish the country’s image.

The people who fear God must not let this happen time and again and the government authorities should also act sincerely when foreigners often go missing while trekking on the mountains.

Jennifer Eileen Peters, via e-mail