House in recess; MPs to visit affected areas

  • Monsoon Mayhem
- POST REPORT, Kathmandu
House in recess; MPs to visit affected areas

Aug 18, 2014-

Lawmakers, except for the members of the Political Dialogue and Consensus Committee of the Constituent Assembly, are going to visit flood-affected districts. The decision follows a ruckus from the opposition UCPN (Maoist) on Monday in Parliament over the government’s lacklustre approach to relief programmes for the flood and landslide victims. The House was adjourned briefly following the opposition demand that the government declare a national emergency and use all necessary resources to rehabilitate the victims.

Speaker Subas Nembang announced a weeklong recess of Parliament beginning Tuesday. Lawmakers will go to their respective constituencies to meet people who have been affected by monsoon-related disasters.

Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Bam Dev Gautam apprised the House on the government’s rehabilitation plans. The parties have agreed to set up a mechanism under the prime minister involving opposition leaders to collect relief funds.

Prime Minister Sushil Koirala attended the House on Monday after a long gap. He had been absent from House sessions due to his ill health.

Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal took a swipe at the government for its “ineffective” management, calling for a strategic plan to prevent such calamities in future. Dahal’s comment comes in line with the criticism by ruling party lawmakers that the government had failed to effectively respond to several incidents of flooding and landslides that have devastated the country in the past two weeks. Lawmakers have already decided to contribute one day’s salary for providing relief. Dahal urged the formation of a PM-led mechanism to effectively monitor rehabilitation efforts. The government has set up a committee at the PM’s residence to coordinate relief activities. Dahal also called for a study on the causes of such calamities.

“Geologists had warned of a disaster but no action was taken,” said Dahal, referring to the Sindhupalchok rock failure that killed more than 150 people.

He visited flood affected areas in the district on Sunday. Dahal pressed the government to study climate change and its impact on Nepal. He urged the government to come up with effective solutions for victims in view of the upcoming festivals.

Over 1.7m people hit: Red Cross

Nepal Red Cross Society has said that over 1.73 million people have been affected by floods and landslides in three days in the second week of August.

In a statement on Monday, the humanitarian agency said that 18 districts were hit hard, affecting 34,700 families and leaving 29,600 people homeless. “This is a preliminary estimate. The damage could be worse.”

Red Cross, in coordination with government agencies, has been actively involved in rescue and rehabilitation efforts, with 205 trained volunteers providing primary aid and treatment, collecting preliminary data, and distributing relief materials.

It has provided relief materials, including non-food items, worth over Rs 85 million. In Sindhupalchok, the agency provided goods worth Rs 2.6 million for 204 landslide-affected families.

Home: 105 dead, 136 missing

With the recovery of seven bodies on Monday, the toll from flood and landslide has reached 105 while 136 have been missing. The National Emergency Operations Centre stated on Monday that 42 people were injured in monsoon-related disasters. As many as 9,477 houses were destroyed with 9,510 others damaged partially. Bardiya is the worst affected district where 8,500 houses were destroyed and 9,365 partially damaged by floods. A total of 11,584 houses were inundated by floods, displacing 20,239 families in the past five days.

Published: 19-08-2014 09:21

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