Print Edition - 2015-06-08  |  Earthquake Relief

Locals deny government-built temporary shelters in Manthali

- Tika Prasad Bhatta, Manthali
Locals deny government-built temporary shelters in Manthali

Jun 7, 2015-

Earthquake victims of Manthali municipality in Ramechhap district are reluctant to live in temporary shelters built by the government due to fear of other government services being curtailed in the future.

“At one hand, there is a risk of being denied other government facilities while, on the other hand, the temporary shelters cannot meet our needs,” said Pujari Majhi of Manthali-2. It is impractical to come to these shelters to sleep at night when we have to use the toilets and taps near our own damaged homes and have to look after cattle, he added. “There are not much facilities here; a place to sleep is not enough as there are other basic needs to think about,” said Majhi.

The Ministry of Urban Development had commanded the commencement of the project to construct temporary shelters for earthquake victims in Gadubari of Manthali-2. As of Sunday, 23 shelters have been constructed in Gadubari. The District Disaster Relief Committee (DDRC) had given permission for building 100 shelters in the area. But due to inadequate space, the cluster settlement has recommended the DDRC to shift 50 of them elsewhere. If accepted, 10 shelters each will be built in Aakase, Sanimadau, Chisapani, Tekanpur and Ramechhap.

It costs the government Rs 25,000 to built one temporary shelter with the capacity to house up to 20 individuals. Technicians claim that the shelters have been designed such that they have adequate space for a small family. The government has also committed to built public toilets near the temporary shelters.

Most of the locals of Gadubari, where a majority of the 150 homes have been completely ravaged, have already purchased shacks with tin roof on their own. “People would have rushed to secure the government-built shelters if they had come sooner,” said local Ram Prasad Devkota. “Everyone has managed for themselves now.”

Locals have also complained that the temporary shelters are built far from their original homes. “It would have been better if they were built in a more accessible place,” said another local Kamala Tamang. People want to stay near their own homes to guard their remaining possession and clear debris, Tamang added.

Most of the people are also reluctant to live in the government-built shelters as they are made of bamboo and tarpaulin. “They should have used galvanised corrugated sheets for roofs. The tarpaulins will not even last a fortnight,” said Devkota. As most of the tarpaulin shelters were blown away in a storm a few days ago, people have started taking loans to build shelters with tin roofs. According to Devkota, the government-built shelters are being neglected as most people have already built rain-proof shelters.

However, an engineer at the Urban Development and Building Construction Division Office Kavre has said that people can replace the tarpaulins with tin sheets if they are damaged. “It is very difficult to arrange for water and toilets in shelters built in personal land, so common shelters have been prepared,” he added.

 

Published: 08-06-2015 07:30

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