DAMAK, July 17: In Jhapa, children are at the highest risk of being harmed by floods and landslides. Ravaging floods have already (until Monday) killed three children in the district.
Currently, the school-going children in the district are at their homes because of the summer vacation but their parents are unable to give them much time as they themselves are terrorized by the floods and inundation. Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Mahendra Shrestha, the spokesperson for the District Police Office (DPO), stated that the parents must keep their children with them to avoid accidents and injuries.
"This is the time when most schools remain closed," said DSP Shrestha, adding, "It will be better if the parents keep their children with them to keep the latter safe." Not only the children but also the elderly are at an equally high risk of getting harmed by disasters. "When the children are at school, they are under the surveillance of teachers. As they don't come out of their classrooms, they are safe," said Rajan Prasain, vice-chairperson of the Private and Boarding School's Organization Nepal (PABSON), Damak, adding, "They need to be given equal attention at home as well."
Last Friday, Lokendra Bhandari of Damak-10 lost his niece Angeela Neupane, 6, in the flood. She died after drowning in the local Bhalu River. Similarly on Saturday, nine years old Saugat Gautam of Shivasatachi-10 died after being swept away by the Baniyani River. Saugat had come to his aunt's home in Shivasatachi-5 only a few days ago.
Likewise, on Monday, a one-and-a-half years child died after being swept away by the Phulbasa River. He was the son of Ganga Ram Prasain of Mechinagar-13. According to police, the child drowned in the swollen river as he was following his father to their field. After finding that his child fell into the river, Ganga Ram rescued him with the help of a few villagers. The child was rushed to the Birtamod-baszed B&C hospital, however, he died during the treatment.
Meanwhile, the number of people displaced by the disaster is increasing in the district. So far, 232 households have been directly affected by the floods.