Flood victims want govt to build embankment before monsoon

Published On: March 13, 2018 03:00 AM NPT By: Amar Khadka

ITAHARI, Mar 13: Seven months ago, Krishna Kumari Rai of Itahari ward no.10 lost her house to a ravaging flood. After her house was washed away, she took shelter at a local school for days. Later, she rented a room and started living there. 

It was really challenging for her to welcome guests to her little-congested room. She herself wasn't really comfortable living there in her sunset years. "It really was miserable,” said Rai. But she has finally started constructing her own house with the help of an organization called SOS Children Villages, an INGO.  

As one of the rooms of her under-construction house has already been built, she has moved there. Though she is happy that her house will be ready within a few months, she fears that she might have to lose it to flood again. "I would like to request the government to construct an embankment which won't let the flood enter our settlement ever again," said Rai. 

The CPN (Maoist Center) had helped a large number of people inhabit unregistered land after the mass movement of 2006. Unfortunately, most of those victims were rendered homeless by the deadly flood of August 11.

 "We lived in rent for few months but later shifted to our own homes," said Khemmaya Magar, one of the victims, adding, "We could not build our house on time as we lacked money but now we have been helped by the SOS Children Village." Eighty-two years Lal Bahadur Sunuwar accused the government of selling fake promises to the victims. "The government has time and again promised to build embankment but that has been nothing more than a myth," said Sunuwar. 

Lal Bahadur and his wife were able to save their lives in the floods with great difficulty. "It would be better if the government started constructing the embankment before monsoon," said Sunuwar. Most of the flood victims have already built their homes without government support. And now all they want is an embankment. The victims have also expressed disappointment towards the government for ignoring them. 

According to them, the government should have at least made some effort to mitigate the risk of flood. "The Sub Metropolis office had assured us to provide Rs 15,000 each to the victims but we are yet to receive that," said Kamala Dhungana of ward no. 10, adding, "We don't need personal benefits. We will be happy if the government makes efforts to control inundation."

Devcharan Chaudhary, director of the INGO, informed Republica that the construction of 147 houses and two community buildings in the flood-affected settlements has been completed. The INGO is constructing houses for the flood victims of wards no. 4, 9 and 10. The flood had badly affected these four wards of Itahari Sub-metropolis, killing nine people. 

The sub-metropolis has submitted a proposal to the Asian Development Bank for a ring road with an embankment along both eastern and western banks of the Budhi Khola River. The proposal is being discussed but nothing has been confirmed yet. Besides that, the sub-metropolis is also making efforts to reduce the overflow of Shera and Tengra rivers.


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