Long recovery ahead for Baijanapur folk

- JANAK NEPAL, BANKE

Aug 17, 2017-With floodwaters gradually receding, the flood-affected people of Baijanapur village in Banke are now staring at a mammoth task of recovery, of restoring normalcy to their lives Baijanapur villagers were salvaging their belongings and getting rid of mud from their flooded homes on Wednesday.  

Floodwaters from the Rapti river flooded around 800 homes in the village on Sunday morning. There was no time for the villagers to salvage food grains and valuables because the water level was rising at a dangerous rate.  

The family of Rampati Chaudhary were asleep when the floodwaters entered the village. By the time the family was awakened, they found themselves waist high in water. 

“We rushed out because the water level was rising fast. Our house collapsed moments after we got out. We somehow managed to reach a high ground,” she said.

The entire riverside settlement was swallowed by floodwaters on Sunday night.

The villagers were left with next to nothing by the disaster. 

“There is no food, clothes and shelter for us now. We have been living off a meagre portion of what little food we could manage after the flood,” Chaudhary said.  

Rapti Sonari Rural Municipality is busy collecting relief materials for the flood victims, but lack of coordination and management has made the distribution process slow.  

The Sunday night’s flood was the worst incident of flood to hit the area after 1979. 

Baijanapur villagers said the scale of devastation would have been much lower if Sikta Irrigation Project had not delayed lifting the floodgates.

“Out of 19 floodgates, only four were opened at first. The people from Aghiya Bazaar had to stage a protest to pressure the project officials into opening all floodgates,” said Buddhi Tharu, a local man.

81 schools inundated BANKE: More than 15,000 children have been affected after floods inundated 81 community schools in Banke district. District Education Officer Bhim Bahadur Saud on Wednesday said the flood-hit schools were closed for the past four days. The schools will likely resume their classes from next week if the weather condition improves, he added.

Published: 17-08-2017 07:43

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