Winter adds to woes of flood-displaced families

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu

Dec 18, 2014-

The living condition of hundreds of flood-displaced families in various Tarai districts has worsened with the onset of the winter season as the authorities concerned failed to ensure adequate and timely relief and resettlement.

In Banke, one of the worst flood-hit districts in the Mid-Western region, over 7,000 people were displaced during disasters. Though the local bodies assured of providing adequate relief and rehabilitation measures, including land and housing structures, to the affected families, many families are still living in temporary housing set up in local school areas. Some displaced families, meanwhile, are still living under dire conditions with poor housing facilities in community and public forest areas.

The condition of flood-victims in other districts is not different. Though government and various other organisations made efforts to provide temporary relief measures to the victims, the long-term plans, including appropriate land and housing structures, are lacking.

Soon after floods during the monsoon season this year, the government announced relief and resettlement packages to thousands of victims in Dang, Banke, Bardiya and Surkhet in the Mid-Western region. “We provided immediate relief, including food, temporary shelter and compensation to families affected by the flood through the Central Disaster Relief Committee,” said Pradip Kumar Shrestha, chief at the National Emergency Operation Centre under the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA). According to Shrestha, the Ministry of Urban Development has the responsibility to provide land and build houses for the victims who lost their land and houses to the disaster.

When contacted, officials at Urban Development Ministry said the authorities concerned have prepared a work plan on resettlement programmes for the affected families. “The rehabilitation and resettlement work is not moving as fast as expected,” said an official seeking anonymity.

As per the compiled data provided by the MoHA, over 250 people lost their lives; 36, 514 families were displaced and property worth Rs 1.4 billion was destroyed in flood-related disasters in various districts this year.

Meanwhile, in a bid to protect the vulnerable families, including flood victims, living in various Tarai districts from cold wave, the MoHA on Thursday sent a circular to all concerned local authorities as well as non-government organisations and UN agencies involved in disaster management to work in preparedness measures. These measures focus on awareness from local bodies in precautionary measures to protect people from cold, distribute materials such as blankets and fuels to vulnerable families and alert health institutions to provide timely treatment to cold-related victims.

 

Published: 19-12-2014 09:17

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