Quake-hit abandon shelters, return to whence they came

- BIMAL KHATIWADA, CHITWAN

Jul 4, 2016-The temporary shelters in Darechok VDC of Chitwan that were built to house the earthquake-displaced families from Dhusa village are being abandoned by their occupants. 

The displaced families are returning to their old settlement, to their quake-damaged homes. They wish to be close to their land so that they could grow crops.  “We don’t have enough to eat here. Back home we could at least plant something in our land, eke a living out of it,” said Daman Kumari Chepang. 

She added that living inside the iron sheet hut was difficult for her family of nine.

Thirty displaced families had been living in these temporary shelters built by a social organisation with the help of Darechok VDC office. 

They were shifted because of landslide danger in Dhusa following the April 2015 earthquake. The quake victims say that they decided to return knowing the risk.

“We didn’t have a space to grow crops or rear animals in temporary settlement,” complained one earthquake displaced. 

Some earthquake victims from Dhusa have been returning to their temporary shelter whenever there is a rainfall. 

“We have to rush back to our temporary shelter when it rains because of landslide fears,” said Phulmati Chepang.” The temporary huts at Darechok were built on a leased property for which the VDC office has agreed to pay Rs 11,000 annually as rent. 

“The landlord is demanding Rs 50,000 this year but the people are not staying there. How can we pay the rent when the people are deserting their shelters ?” said Darechok VDC Secretary Nilkantha Lamichhane. 

Published: 04-07-2016 13:27

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