Poor disaster preparedness of local units piles misery on flood victims

Published On: July 18, 2019 05:30 AM NPT By: Mithilesh Yadav

Chief District Officer (CDO) Gopal Kumar Adhikari stated that Nepal Army and Red Cross teams rescued hundreds of people using only two boats.

SIRAHA, July 18: The ravaging flood that struck on Friday inundated many settlements and displaced people in hundreds in Siraha district. As to avoid further risk and damage, the victims knocked the doors of the local government but in vain. Lack of disaster preparedness of the local government compelled the victims to wait for hours before the arrival of relief.

As the local unit could not do much to offer respite to the terrorized people, it became challenging for the teams of police, army and Red Cross to provide relief and rescue the people.

Chief District Officer (CDO) Gopal Kumar Adhikari stated that Nepal Army and Red Cross teams rescued hundreds of people using only two boats.

"It's clear that the local units had made no preparation to face the disaster or to minimize its risks," said Adhikari. He says it would have been easier to rescue the victims had the local units bought at least one rubber boat. As per the locals, the performance of the local government was disappointing even in relief distribution.

Indrajit Yadav of Siraha Municipality-6 said, "The situation of the victims here is miserable. They are still awaiting relief."

Siddhartha Yadav, chairperson of Aurahi Rural Municipality, informed Republica that 400 households in ward no 1 to 5 have been affected by floods and inundation.

"Roads have been obstructed in several areas," said Yadav, adding, "We will distribute the relief as soon as the vehicular movement resumes."

As per the details provided by the District Disaster Management Committee (DDMC), Siraha, altogether 5,326 houses have been completely damaged by the floods in the district while 10,189 houses have been partially damaged.

A total of 2,631 persons have been displaced by the floods. The victims have gradually started moving back to their homes as the level of water has receded in the rivers.

'Identity cards' for flood victims

As to make sure that none of the genuine victims are deprived of relief, the DDMC, Siraha is preparing to distribute identity cards to the flood victims. CDO Adhikari hopes that this card will help them identify the victims and avoid duplication in distribution of relief.

"We have already sent the format of the card to the local units," said Adhikari. The local units will print those cards and distribute them to the victims.

So far, five persons have died in Siraha due to flood and inundation. The flood which originated from Kamala River entered into the settlement areas by breaching the embankment. Reportedly, the flood entered into villages through a culvert built by Kamala River Control and Planning Office, Janakpur for irrigation which has been left halfway.

Ashok Yadav, coordinator of the Red Cross, Siraha laments that the distribution of relief has been challenging in lack of proper details about the victims.

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