August 1, 2016 12:00 AM NPT
By: Arjun Oli
DANG, Aug 1: Small and marginal farmers in Banke have suffered due to crop loss caused by recent floods in Rapti River.
Farmlands are still inundated and crops are washed away by the floods along the river banks in Banke, resulting in heavy crop loss. Many paddy fields have been inundated. The floods have mostly affected paddy production.
The floods have had a significant effect on crop production as crops were yet to be harvested, said Shiva Shankar Mishra, a local of Kamdi-1, Banke.
“In the past years, we used to sell corps,” he said, adding that his family will have to live hand to mouth this year due to the loss crops.
Another farmer Surendra Barma is also worried about the loss of his paddy farming. “Our entire farmland has been waterlogged. We will not become able to harvest paddy this year,” Barma said. “Our paddy fields have been converted into ford.”
It is certain that the livelihood of many farmers will be directly affected due to floods as the Rapti River has swept away many farmlands in various parts of the districts, Barma said. Crops in various villages including Fattepur, Holiya, Betahani, Gangapur have been completed swept away by the floods while partial damage has been seen in Kamdi, Matehiya, Kachanapur, Khaskushma, Binauna and Baijapur VDCs.
The local authorities have been assessing the actual impact of floods on crop production. Teams comprising representatives from Village Development Committee (VDC), Nepal Police, Nepal Red Cross Society and political parties have been collecting data of damage and losses caused by the floods, according to Dila Ram Rana, secretary of Phattepur VDC.
According to primary estimation, more than 2000 families have been directly affected and their properties including corps have become unusable due to floods. The lives in the district have been affected due to floods triggered by incessant rainfall since Monday.
Fear of disease outbreak
The fear of outbreak of diseases in the flood-hit areas of the district is growing. People have started returning to their homes after water level in the Rapti River receded. The possibility of the outbreak, however, still remains high.
“The rooms of the houses are full of filthy mud and people are compelled to drink contaminated water,” said Tilak Bahadur Gharti, a local of Phattepur-7, Banke. “Elderly people and children are especially vulnerable to the outbreak,” he said.
Chief District Officer Rabilal Pantha said that necessary medicines including chlorine have been sent to flood-affected areas to disinfect water.