Monsoon adds to misery of families living at Tundikhel

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu
Monsoon adds to misery of families living at Tundikhel

Jul 8, 2015-

Nani Ram Pandey and his family vacated their rented room in Ason after April 25 earthquake left wide cracks on the walls. They moved to Tundikhel ground where they started living in a tent provided by the Chinese government. After living in the tent for two months, Pandey and his family of five returned to their rented room a few days ago.

Living in tent, Pandey said, was fine until the monsoon started. “We could not live in tent because the rain waters were everywhere. My wife and children got sick because of cold,” he said.  

Luckily for Pandey, his landlord had not rented out the room that he and his family had been living before the earthquake. “I know the building isn’t safe, but we couldn’t live at Tundikhel any longer.”

Rains have forced more than 400 people to leave their tents in the last two weeks. Some of them have returned to their previous dwellings knowing the risk while others have moved in with their relatives.    

According to Nepal Army, there are1,064 people living in 75 tents at Tundikhel currently; earlier, 1,488 earthquake-displaced people from 51 districts were sheltered there.  

Monsoon has added to the misery of the families who were already living under difficult circumstance in tents at Tundikhel. The ground where the tents have been erected gets waterlogged whenever there is a heavy rainfall.

“The rising waters enter the tents and there’s nothing we can do about it,” said Sushil Kumar Sharma, an earthquake-displaced from Dhading. “We tried digging trenches around our tents, but that doesn’t work when there is a heavy rainfall for a long period, which has been the case these past couple of days.”

Sharma and his four family members were brought to Kathmandu after their house in Dhading was flattened by the earthquake. He said his family has no other place to go, nor the wherewithal to rent a place to keep his family safe and warm.

Pregnant women, new mothers and their newborns have it worse as they are highly susceptible to catching diseases. Nine pregnant women and four new mothers are living at Tundikhel at present, and they are worried about the health of their babies and their own.

“My baby is due this week. I don’t know how I’m going to live in here after the arrival of my child,” said Shanti Khawas.

Laxmi Prasad Dhakal, spokesperson at the Ministry of Home Affairs, said that the government is no longer responsible for those people living in tents.

“Now the quake is over, people can go back to their houses,” he said.

Published: 09-07-2015 07:52

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