National

Quake-hit Dhading farmers compensated for dead cattle

- DEWAN RAI, SHERTHUNG (DHADING)

Jan 11, 2016-Pode Tamang grinned awkwardly as he received Rs 43,000 cash compensation from Livestock Minister Shanta Manawi for livestock killed by April 25 earthquake. He looked struggling for words to respond as minister wished him good luck.

Tamang received the amount swaddled in envelop, slid it into his long sleeved robe and left. He kept grinning until one of the villagers asked him how much the amount is. “I don’t know,” he replied in Tamang language.

Forty-eight-year old Tamang, who looked much older than his age, had neither imagined an earthquake nor dreamed of meeting a minister in his life. However, he recalled the day as most horrifying moment of his life.

“I was in another village,” he said, adding, “My wife, who had taken cattle for grazing, luckily escaped the landslide caused by earthquake, but it swept away buffaloes, an ox and goats.”

Kharsa village of Sherthung VDC lies right at the foot of Mt Ganesh, located at two days walking distance from district headquarters. Villagers miraculously escaped death, but all houses collapsed and quake triggered landslide swept away many cattle.

Himalayan Health Care, a non-profit organisation, was the first one to reach villages in the northern part of the district to rescue people after the earthquake. The organisation raised funds from various donors to supply goods and health support.

Minister Manawi on Sunday visited Sherthung to distribute the amount to villagers so that they will be able own cattle again. “The compensation for cattle killed in the earthquake is a good support for farmers,” she said. “Our ministry will also come up with plans to support farmers affected by the earthquake.”

According to Phe Dorje Tamang, local coordinator of the organisation, they have allocated Rs 7 million in support for farmers in five most affected DVCs in the district to buy cattle. A total of 242 households from Sherthung, Tipling, Lapa, Jharlang and Ree VDCs have benefited from the programme.

According to lawmaker Dhan Bahadur Ghale, around 400 of 676 dead in the districts were from these five VDCs.

The cash aid was made with support from Brother’s Brother Foundation, a US based charity. According to Tamang, the charity has helped in health and education sectors as well.

The organisation has been running various programmes in collaboration with local administration. Chief District Officer Bishwa Prakash Subedi, local development officer and other officials from the district attended the launching programme.

“We need support from all sections of the society,” Subedi said, adding, “We also need the exact figure of the loss of property caused by the earthquake so that we can plan accordingly.”

Bharat Budhathoki, liaison officer of the centre, said that they have already signed an agreement with local administration to build 13 health posts and 20 schools in the district. They have already opened 86 kilometre footpath and 11 kilometre road with support from the World Food Programme.

“We will soon complete paper work to build district hospital,” he said. The organisation has been working in healthcare, education and income generating programmes in the district.

 

Published: 11-01-2016 08:59

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