LETTERS: Lessons from the floods

The havoc created by incessant rains in most of the Tarai districts and in some hilly areas has been extremely painful and highly alarming. Many villages in Tarai districts were inundated. Many innocent people lost their lives and thousands were displaced. Thousands were stranded and were at risk of being swept away by the floods. Many houses were submerged and completely destroyed making the people homeless. Bridges collapsed. Highways were blocked and damaged barring people from reaching their destinations “Thousands stranded on Koshi Tappu” (THT, August 15, Page 1).

The government and its mechanism seemed helpless albeit they tried their level best to reach the victims. However, due to lack of any institutionalized mechanism responsible for taking care of the level of such disaster, timely rescue and rehabilitation of affected people fell below expectations.

The relief materials could not reach the victims on time forcing them to spend nights without food and proper shelter. The local administrations were not able to provide clean drinking water and other consumable food to the victims “Relief materials yet to reach victims” (THT, August 15, Page 1). It seems that the death toll may rise as floodwaters start receding. So far, 111 people have been killed in floods and landslides and 35 are missing “Death toll rises as floodwaters recede” (THT, August 15, Page 1).

It was not possible to control the natural calamity that creates havoc among the people. However, the effect of this kind of natural calamity could have been minimized, had the government taken appropriate measures on time. Had the government timely asked the Indian Government to open more gates of the Koshi Barrage based on the weather forecast made by the Hydrology and Meteorology Department, the casualties and catastrophe would not have been so huge. Had the embankment works along the rivers been done properly, the swollen river would not flow outside of its course.

Having said this, the government must learn the lessons from this natural calamity and act swiftly to establish central and district level disaster handling mechanism with appropriate skills and knowledge and proper equipment to reach the victims on time.

Rai Biren Bangdel, Maharajgunj

Total win

It was really a world-class performance from India which went on to complete a 3-0 test series whitewash against Sri Lanka. The visiting team went on to demolish the home team by 304 runs. It went on to return with a superb performance by knocking the Lankans out by innings and 53 runs. Even in the third test, the Sinhalese were hammered by the Indians by innings and 171 runs. By the way India really played well against Sri Lanka throughout the 3-0 test series where the latter fell flat. Time has now finally arrived even for the Nepalese national cricket team about how to perform well no matter whatever the given conditions are.

Pratik Shrestha, Buddhanagar