Flood, landslide victims left to wander for food and shelter

Published On: July 24, 2018 09:02 AM NPT By: CHAVI LAL TIWARI

PARBAT, July 24: Nande Damai of Jaljala Rural Municipality-8 in Parbat district has been compelled to live in the streets with three other members of his family after his house was destroyed by a landslide that struck his village five days ago. They were somehow able to save their lives by escaping the landslide debris. But now, they are living a miserable life in the streets.

Since last Tuesday, they have been spending their nights on the roadside of Lasti bazaar.

"We can't return back to our home due to the fear of another ravaging landslide," said Nande, adding, "We have been spending our days wandering from place to place to manage food and shelter."

He urged the authorities concerned to help them find proper shelter as going back to their wrecked home is not an option.

Sante Damai of Jaljala-8 also expressed similar worries. "We can't stop thinking about our next shelter and food," he said. He has been living in a makeshift tent near Maldhunga-Beni road with his family since the last five days. It has been extremely difficult for him to arrange food and shelter for his family of three. Earlier, he used work as a laborer to earn bread for his family.

"The government must arrange a permanent shelter for us as soon as possible," said Sante.

Similarly, Ganesh Pariyar of Jaljala-8 stated that it's not possible for them to get back to their damaged homes. "Going back to the previous shelter is almost returning to the jaws of death," said Ganesh. According to him, the government must understand their problem because that is what the government is for.

There are more than two dozen families in Jaljala 7 and 8 who were displaced by the landslide triggered by torrential rainfall. All of them have been managing their livelihood under tents expecting the government to do something for them.

Bam Bahadur Pariyar, who lost his 16-year-old son Bikash to the landslide, says living in tents has been miserable. "All the pain, problems and difficulties are meant for the poor," laments Bam. He too stressed that the responsible authority should waste no time for managing shelter for the landslide displaced families.

Meanwhile, Jaljala Rural Municipality has announced relief for these families. A meeting held under the chairmanship of Disaster Management Committee (DMC) coordinator Bhisma Malla made a decision to provide Rs 50,000 to the families who lost their family members. Yam Prasad Malla, advisor to Jaljala Rural Municipality, said that those injured will receive Rs 25,000, those with completely damaged houses will receive Rs 10,000 while those with partially damaged houses will receive Rs 5,000.

Chairperson of the rural municipality, Yam Bahadur Malla, recently met with the injured in Pokhara where they have been undergoing treatment. It was his decision to call a meeting with the DMC and provide victims with relief. As per the District Coordination Committee, hundreds of households in various wards were affected by the landslides and floods of last Tuesday. The committee has so far translocated 22 families to safe locations. 

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