BIRATNAGAR, August 14: Hundreds of victims displaced by floods in Morang are at the high risk of disease outbreak. The victims who have lost their food and shelter in the floods are obliged to rely on the contaminated water of local rivers for their survival. This ultimately has increased the risk of various health problems in them.
They have been drinking water from the rivers which have long been used for throwing rubbish, washing clothes, utensils and also for throwing carcasses. As the hand pumps have been submerged or swept away by the floods, the victims are directly using the water of rivers for various purposes. Shyam Mandal of Katahari, Morang, said, "As the flood swept away our hand pump, we are obliged to take bath and wash clothes in the rivers."
When the continuous rain for the past four days finally stopped on Sunday, there was a long queue of people at the Singiya River which lies in the border of Kataharo of Morang and Biratnagar. Due to the lack of public awareness, victims are using the same river water even after watching the dead bodies of animals flowing in them.
Despite knowing that the flood victims are likely to suffer from epidemics, the government is unaware about it, laments Ganga Ray, ward member of Morang Katahari-1."Even after knowing that the flood victims might have to deal with various diseases, the authorities concerned have taken no initiatives yet," Ray said. According to him, the government should provide clean drinking water to the victims and should also take efforts to clean the sources of water. Ray even urged the government to provide relief to the victims as soon as possible especially in the areas where the number of victims is high.
As the floods broke the bridge at Katahari 1, the locals have not been able to move from east to west. After waiting for days, the victims finally saw rays of sun on Sunday. However, they have not been able to move back to their homes. Most of them are still sheltering at schools. Those who were living in the unregistered land of river banks have been rendered homeless by the flood.
Various organizations are actively involved in distributing relief materials to the victims. Those who have houses are not daring to move back due to the fear of the floods making a comeback. Children and elderly citizens are having hard time due to the flood.
Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Bijay Kumar Gachhadar made a visit to the flood-affected areas of Morang.