Meagre ration infuriates flood survivors
Aug 19, 2017-A litre of bottled water, a small bucket with beaten rice, a packet containing 1kg of savoury snack “Dalmoth”, and a sheet of tarpaulin were what each flood displaced families of Rautahat’s Fatuwa Bijaypur Rural Municipality received as relief from the state on Friday, a week after the disaster. The relief materials were received, but not without indignation. Protests were voiced over the measly ration.
Ram Ishwar Sah, 48, and his fellow villagers from Harsaha settlement were infuriated after seeing what relief materials they were getting.
“We have not eaten properly since last week. How long can we survive with this much food? It will hardly last two days,” said Sah, showing his provision.
On Friday, relief materials were distributed among families living in wards three, four and five of the rural municipality which has more than 4,000 households.
Flood victims had walked from far and wide to the distribution centre, at Bijayapur Area Police Office.
The flood survivors said all they wanted was cooking ingredients like rice, pulses, salt and edible oil, because they have not had a warm meal for a long time.
“We need rice so we can cook meal and feed our children. We hadn’t cooked anything for first few days. We can buy beaten rice and other fast foods like biscuits from local markets too,” grumbled Ram Ekwal Ram.
Following the flood, locals have been falling sick, according to locals.
“Rather than sending water and snacks, our government should have sent medicine by helicopter for us,” wished Ram, who said he had a sick son at home.
According to the APF Inspector at Bijaypur Post, Shyambabu Ray Yadav, relief materials were distributed among total 534 households from Harsaha, Fatuwa, Buniyad and Lakshiminiya.
Nearly 1,100 tarpaulin sheets were brought for distribution, but were insufficient.
Ranjana Sah, executive officer at Fatuwa Bijayapur Rural Municipality, said that the local body will arrange more tarpaulin sheets if needed. Water bottles, snacks and tarpaulin sheets were supplied from the state side, whereas the local body had bought beaten rice.
Government’s response in the district has been sluggish so far.
Janak Raj Bharati, district vice-president of Human Rights and Peace Society, said one of the worst flood-hit districts was not getting enough attention from the government.
“It’s been a week already. People have not eaten well. There is also a high chance of disease outbreaks. It a shame there is no essential medicines available till now,” said Bharati.
Left without shelter
The flood displaced people of Jhapa Rural Municipality are worried about their rehabilitation after the floods destroyed their houses and belongings.
“Floodwaters swept away all our properties. We have now place to go now,” said Dilliram Hemram of Jhapa-3. He and his family are taking shelter at as local school.
Another displaced Raju Bhujel said his family cannot return home. “There’s nothing left. The house was swept away and farmlands destroyed,” he said.
Around 100 families of wards 3 and 7 have been taking shelter at local schools.
“Other affected families have started returning to their houses,” said Jaya Narayan Shah, chairman of the rural municipality.
The local administration said they will look for land to resettle the displaced families.
The flood killed at least six people in Jhapa.
Published: 19-08-2017 07:51