Nepal | August 12, 2020

Rain effect: Adds more problems to an already problematic living

Himalayan News Service
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Monsoon: rain effects

Graphic Illustration: Ratna Sagar Shrestha/ THT

 The monsoon has arrived and so has the pain in our daily life. We all know about the problems and struggles we face every year during monsoon. We face the problems those are brought on by road expansion works and drainage projects, and with the onset of monsoon this year too it is no different. The blacktopped roads in my locality have been turned into muddy pools and drainage project has also started. This has blocked the flow of transportation in and around our area while there is also shortage of drinking water. Moreover, people are forced to use alternative routes which suffer the same problems as of our locality. The transportation fare charged by the water tankers has increased at an alarming rate. At some places, water takers are rejecting to supply water as the roads are too muddy and such roads can lead to jam and accidents, even though high fares are offered to them. It is said that the authorities concerned are spending the budget on road construction for the sake of spending it. Neither we nor the authorities concerned have made efforts to alleviate this problem as such we are facing hardships, and all that we do is curse the authorities and keep on walking on the same muddy roads or pray for an early end to monsoon.
— Sudeshma Lama

 With the start of monsoon, there have been problems of puddles, flooding and muddy roads which have made our life difficult. People find it difficult while walking whether it is short or long distance because the roads are slippery and there is a high chance that they might fall down. I have also come across such problems. When it comes to solving this problem which has become a major one, nothing needful has been done so far. What can be said for certain is that the Government is really not serious in this regard although it needs to be addressed. On top of that, even the general public of our country have not raised their voice in order to address these pressing problems. They are accepting it as another inevitable part of their life without even thinking about the future.
— Pratik Shrestha, Buddhanagar, Baneshwor

Monsoon and air pollution

Graphic Illustration: Ratna Sagar Shrestha/ THT

 Roads full of dust, dirt and ditch have been the part of our travel route. This is faced by every single individual, whether pedestrians or using vehicles to commute. With the beginning of the monsoon, the problem has soared. Apart from the muddy and slippery roads, we hear the news of floods, landslides and other havoc. The Government and its development works also seem to start with the onset of monsoon. Either the work schedule is according to their planning or they just like to show their work done at the end of fiscal year. These days, not just my community, but the entire Valley’s people are dealing with the problem of daily travel on the slippery and muddy roads created due to the pipeline project of water and other development works. The problem will not be solved soon. Since, our country is in a transitional stage, we should keep a little patience and support it from our side as well.
— Manish Maharjan, Bijeshwori, Kathmandu

 Continuous downpour of the monsoon this year has brought a lot of problems to the country. Especially in villages many highways have been damaged by landslides, the transportation to remote areas has been hindered, and many people have become homeless due to the floods. And also in cities, many roads have been blocked and transportation has been made difficult around the city. And the muddy roads have been causing us trouble. We have been facing these kinds of problem for a long time, but neither Government nor authority or community have come to anyone’s rescue.
— Anonymous

 The hilly region of our country faces landslides, floods and other calamities. People living in the city areas need to deal with numerous puddles on the roads, wet clothes and the sound of mosquitoes hovering around us. And some are taking small steps to solve these problems. To combat the muddy paths, I have seen people putting bricks on muddy paths of alleys so that we can step in those bricks to get through those muddy paths. In my opinion, such small initiatives are inspirational. Helping those in need with small acts is way better than talking about big things and not doing them.
— Lhakpa Choedon Lama

 Rainy season comes every year and no doubt it is essential for survival, but the suffering I go through during the rainy season makes my life miserable. When the downpour occurs all night long and I need to leave for my college next morning, I can barely walk properly on the muddy roads which are mostly slippery and damaged. It’s hard to protect my shoes and dress from the dirty water in the middle of the road splashed by the vehicles passing by. Once I had taken a long route in order to reach my college because the way I normally used to take had turned muddy and a puddle had formed. I was late for my college and the college in-charge did not allow me to enter the college premises. There seems no sign of maintenance and reconstruction of the roads for many years. Proper drainage system could somehow minimise the problem to some extent by helping the water to pass from the roads. We hear that the Government makes plans and prepares budget for road construction and safety, but we can hardly see any implementation.
— Arzoo Pokharel, Katyani Chowk, Kathmandu

 The monsoon has started and we are hearing the news of floods and landslides. Many people have died due to floods and landslides while many people have become homeless. The effects of monsoon are not big in my locality but we are facing some problems. Due to the road expansion work, the road has turned muddy and it has become difficult for us to walk. Meanwhile moving cars splash muddy water on us — some drivers do that intentionally, whereas some are just careless. They don’t think about the problem we face while going to college and office. We have talked to the road constructors but we got no solution from them. It is not only the people of my locality who are facing these problems, but the whole of Kathmandu Valley is going though such problems. Road construction should not be done during the rainy season while the work they are doing is slow like a tortoise.
— Sonika Lamichhane

 The monsoon of this year has been more intense than of 2015. It has not brought that much losses and troubles to the places in Kathmandu, but in remote area of the Himalayan and Tarai regions, there have been huge losses — many of people have got displaced, the roads and highways have been destroyed and has caused severe impact on transportation, and floods and landslides of the monsoon has also claimed lives of people. But, I haven’t seen any community and authority even taking a move for a solution.
— Anonymous

 It’s been a month since I have started living in Kapan, Kathmandu, and I am disgusted with the roads of this area. With the start of the rainy season, people living here find it difficult travelling through the Sarswotinagar Road. Both pedestrians and commuters are having trouble due to such bad roads. Here, the roads have not been blacktopped and are full of ditches and puddles. It’s been more than a year, but the roads are not maintained. The Government seems to be negligent. It also seems that people living here are also not concerned about taking any action; they are busy gossiping with each other. No effective action by either people nor the Government has been seen yet. There are lots of problem with these muddy roads and mainly pedestrian and passengers are suffering. For example, people who are well dressed or are in uniform of school, college or office and wouldn’t like to travel through such roads. Moreover, with the end of a rainy season, people will forget these problems and will be unconcerned of the damaged and unmaintained roads, but rainy season is sure to come next year with a bigger number of problems.
— Sarad Singh, Kapan, Kathmandu

 I love monsoon, but when it comes to walking on the roads after a downpour, I simply hate it. The roads are so messy to walk on! In our locality, there’s one place in particular where the road is always messy after rainfall due to which people are facing a lot of problems — you will have to walk consciously unlike other times. For example, when you are going out for a party, all well dressed, you never know what will happen because of that messy road. The vehicles passing by make it even worse. Nowadays people are busy and they rarely have time to think about other people and problems of such messy roads. The Government is also doing nothing. Moreover, they make the condition even worse by haphazardly digging roads now and then. I too use the same road and the problem has not been solved yet. Nobody is bothered!
— Nikita Shrestha, Udayapur

 Dwelling in Kathmandu City means travelling on narrow roads that are full of ditches, dust and garbage and this has made life very difficult to live on a daily basis. When the monsoon begins, all these problems elevate and problems of these roads heighten to which people cry and blame the Government for all the problems. During the monsoon, almost the whole of nation goes through such problems and some people suffer even worse than the road problems. I am no exception. Ason is where I live and that locality is full of dust with drainage problems and muddy roads during the rainy season. However, we the people of the community make an effort to take care of these problems to some extent. We organise cleaning programmes and penalise those who throw garbage on the road. The vegetable market produces a lot of waste everyday but we make sure to clean those mess up. From collecting money to cleaning campaigns to hiring cleaners and paying them, we try to solve the problems of our community ourselves. Nowadays, things are improving and we hope that the Government give space for the vegetable market and expand their fiscal year expenses to solving on our municipality drainage problems.
— Sagar Shrestha, Ason, Kathmandu

 First and foremost, rain in the monsoon season is very important and it is the beauty of nature as well. Lack of proper management of things results in disasters. Many puddles, floods and muddy roads are due to the rains in the monsoon season. Accustomed with these, Nepali people are bearing myriad problems. Not only the people of hinterlands, even Capital dwellers have been suffering from these problems for many years.

I am from the hilly area and  muddy roads, flood, landslides and puddles of different sizes are the major problems here. Then vehicles get mired on muddy roads while some meet with accidents because they slip on the slippery roads. To solve all these problems, we need to fix the drainage system so that there is no overflowing of water due to bad drainage system that would also further damage the roads. We should also construct good roads so that vehicles do not slip. Moreover, an agreement among VDC office, political parties and the locals needs to be made for the development of a locality so that problems like halting of transportation during monsoon season doesn’t take place in the first place. Landslides are common during the monsoon for which strong walls should be made. This action can bring change. When I was a child, I remember many people used to leave their houses due to the fear of landslides. Likewise, plantation programme which was done 10 years ago has also helped control landslides. Bamboo or any tree should be planted along the roads to combat landslides and accidents. In the same manner, construction of embankments along the banks of river would be helpful.
— Narayan Poudel, Kerunga, Arghakhanchi

 The problem of monsoon related issues are not just unique to Nepal but common to major monsoon climatic nations across the planet. The problems of floods, plugged sewage system, overflow of sewage water contaminating drinking water sources, muddy roads, landslides, breakdown of gas and electric supply and outbreak of gastrointestinal diseases is common in such countries located across Asia, South America and Sub-Saharan Africa. The most pertinent factors playing a major role in such mismanagement is the apathy of local administrations for not doing enough for the proper maintenance of roads, sidewalks, gutters, sewage system and upgrading the health services. Serious problems of procrastination, corruption, lack of political will, poor management, improper or no planning, shortage of available funds together with lack of awareness and education of the local residents are the root causes behind the perennial issues of annual infrastructural breakdown in all these countries during the monsoon and related events.
— Saikat Kumar Basu


A version of this article appears in print on July 17, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.


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