August 12, 2018 04:00 AM NPT
By: Krishna Oli
Landslide at a village in Bajura. Photo: Republica
BAJURA, Aug 12: Two weeks ago, Man Bahadur Rawat and his family left their home at Gumlagaun and started living under a tarpaulin tent in Daune Chaur. The family of Chededaha Rural Municipality-7, Bajura district, was forced to relocate after landslides continuously occurred in their village.
They are not the only ones to shift. As many as 42 families are living in the open ground of Daune Chaur. All of them have similar tales. They are forced to seek shelter in the open ground due to continuous landslides triggered by the incessant rainfall in their village.
Landslides have troubled the locals of Gumlagaun since the past two decades. Landslides have washed away hundreds of acres of arable lands while cracks have appeared in around the locality, weakening the base of many houses.
In such a scenario, the locals are forced to take shelter elsewhere for four months during monsoon. Children, pregnant women, elderly, and youths are vulnerable while the families shift elsewhere during every monsoon. They usually set up tarpaulins in open grounds for shelter.
“If we stay back at home, we cannot fall asleep due to the fear of landslides,” said Man Bahadur.
Dozens of settlements in the district are at high risk of landslides every monsoon. Settlements including Bamhatola, Barhabise, Kailashmandu, Jugada, Martadi Sapta, Aatichaur, Jagannath, Kundomandu, Kolti along with a dozen of other villages are considered highly vulnerable to landslides, according to the District Administration Office, Bajura.
According to geologists, only few places of the district are suitable to live in during monsoon. A recently published report states that only 19 places of the district do not have risk of landslides.
The whole district of Bajura is highly vulnerable to landslides. In the last four years, as many as 23 people of the district have already lost their lives to landslides, according to data maintained by the District Disaster Management Committee.