Two years after flood, displaced await delivery of government’s promises


Feb 13, 2019-

One hundred and thirty flood affected families of Tirahut Rural Municipality-2 and -5 in Saptari district have been living with hardships after the floodwaters of Mahuli stream swept away their houses in June, 2017.

Then prime minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and home minister Janardan Sharma had announced Rs350,000 aid for each affected family and Rs1.5 million soft loan for rehabilitation of each family without collateral, victims said they have not received the amount yet.

Deuba visited the flood-hit Bhediya and Mayanakaredi areas in Saptari and announced the relief package. After meeting the affected people, he announced grants up to Rs25,000 for buying zinc roofing sheets and Rs10,000 for building temporary shelter for each affected family along with Rs350,000 for each displaced household. Deuba had also pledged loans up to Rs1.5 million at a minimum interest rate for the victims to start businesses.

Together with other officials, Deuba met with the flood victims and observed the dam reconstruction being carried out by the teams of Nepal Army, Nepal Police and the Armed Police Force. He also said the government would prioritise embankment building on rivers and streams to control floods and soil erosion.

“The government only provided Rs25,000 to purchase galvanised zinc sheets and to construct the temporary shelters,” said Upendra Mukhiya, one of the flood victims of Tirahut area, adding that a Cabinet meeting had declared to provide Rs350,000 to each affected family after Deuba returned to Kathmandu.

Binitadevi Pandit, a displaced woman in Tirahut-2, said her family has been living in another person’s house for the last 19 months. “If the government helped us, we could build a new house,” she said. The government had also provided a food allowance of Rs70 per person daily for a month after the disaster.

Flood victims said they visited the authorities in the Capital a number of times demanding delivery of the promises made by the Deuba government to them, to no avail.

After formation of the provincial government, flood victims also informed the authorities concerned about their problems. “Why did the prime minister assure us help when he had no intention of helping us?” asked Mukhiya.

Chief District Officer Surendra Paudel said the District Administration Office has got no directives from the federal government to distribute Rs350,000. Flood victim Jibachha Mukhiya said most of the flood victims are living with difficulties. “The declaration made by the PM has not been implemented here,” he said.

Locals said they again fear flood in the Mahuli river which breached its embankment last monsoon. The embankment has not been properly built, they added. More than 100 families of Bhediya, Mayanakaredi and Raghunathpur were displaced after floodwaters entered their settlements when the rain-swollen Mahuli river breached its embankment at five places in June two summers ago.

Published: 13-02-2019 07:43

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