August 17, 2017 02:00 AM NPT
By: Ajit Tiwari
BIRATNAGAR, August 16: Until a few days ago, locals of Ikrahi used to spend their days in the fields as farming was the major means of their livelihood. This village, which lies in ward-4 of Biratnagar Metropolitan City, got waterlogged due to excessive rainfall on Saturday and Sunday. Flood gushed into the settlement creating a total mess after the embankment along Keshliya River collapsed.
A massive flood with water flowing 1,300 cusecs from Keshliya River had entered the metropolitan city through Ikrahi village. No houses of Yadav tole are in proper condition as the deadly flood had first hit this community. The miseries of the locals of Ikrahi, who were having hard time managing food and shelter, have been further aggravated by health problems. There is not even a single family which has not been suffering from fever, common cold, diarrhea and skin problems.
"We had to stay submerged for three long days," said Jhari Lal Yadav, 52, of Ikrahi, adding, "Though we have returned to our homes, we keep slipping and sliding in the mud which is everywhere in our house."
Cold and damp rooms, contaminated water, stench of rotten food and dead bodies have given rise to various diseases. "From children to elderly citizens, all are battling with some kind of diseases or infection," said Balak Rajbansi, a ward member.
Nepali Congress leader Dr Shekhar Koirala and his friend Dr Narayan Kumar reached Ikrahi on Wednesday for distribution of relief materials. Both of them conducted health check-up of around 50 victims, majority of whom had developed health problems post flooding.
NC leader Koirala, who served for 20 years as a doctor before joining politics, said, “These kinds of infections can lead to the outbreak of epidemics in the near future. So, we have offered them antibiotics even for fever in order to avoid epidemic."
As many as 12 patients who were having serious health issues have been referred to Awadh Narayan Memorial Clinic, Biratnagar. "Lots of flood victims are suffering from respiratory problems and many of them are having various kinds of allergies in their legs," said Dr Koirala. He further informed that children are having diarrhea and fever. "If proper measures are not adopted, these diseases might take toll in the lives of the victims," he said.
In Khap tole of Biratnagar-19 as well, locals are struggling with similar health issues. Flood from Singhiya River inundated the whole village and swept away all the food. On Wednesday, a health camp was organized jointly by Life Guard Hospital and Gurans Bookstore. Around 300 victims who participated in the health camp were having health problems.
Amongst them, three seriously injured were referred to Biratnagar for further treatment. "As of now, common cold and diarrhea are rampant among the locals," said Dr Umesh Kumar Mahato.