Govt’s languid approach leaves flood victims hungry and angry

- PAWAN YADAV, RAUTAHAT

Aug 20, 2017-Having waited in vain for authorities to arrive in her settlement in Bijayapur Phatuwa-3 for a week, 60-year-old Darsaniya Devi Ram came to Area Police Office in Laxminiya on Friday, expecting relief materials that would be sufficient at least for a week.

But her 45-minute long trek to Laxmaniya from her settlement in Harshaha, followed by two more hours in queue did not worth a while.

“I could not get what I expected,” said Darsaniya, adding that she received a tarpaulin, 1.5kg beaten rice, a bottle of water and a small packet of Dalmoth (a savoury dry snack). She complained that the meagre foodstuffs would not be enough even for a day to her five-member family. “It is the first relief we received after the flood inundated our house and washed away food grains and other belongings,” she said. 

Like Darsaniya, many flood victims in the area are hungry and angry. 

“There should be a bit more in relief package that the authorities distributed quite late. What the government is doing is le relief for the name sake,” said another flood victim Rambishwas Raya Yadav. He demanded that the authorities should provide nutritious ‘wholesome’ food instead of distributing dry snacks. “Floodwaters have receded. The government needs to distribute rice instead of beaten rice,” he suggested, adding that the flood displaced villagers had not had proper a meal for the past one week. 

One hundred and ten families have been affected by floods at Harshaha settlement in Bijayapur Phatawa Rural Municipality. The victims said they received the government relief for the first time on Friday since the disaster struck their settlement on August 12.

Compounding the misery, dozens of flood displaced, mostly children and elderly people, have fallen ill. According to Jot Narayan Yadav, more than 60 people in the settlement have been suffering from fever and common cold. 

“We have been hit by one misfortune after another. The floods ruined our life, now our children are taken ill,” he said, adding that the victims neither had proper food for their ailing children nor money to take them to hospital for treatment. 

The situation of Khoriya settlement in Bijayapur Phatuwa-4 is no different, where 40 Dalit families have been waiting of the state relief a week after the calamity. “Police personnel collected names of the victims, but the relief has not reached here yet,” said Rajendra Ram, a local. He said the villagers do not have a clue how to get the relief.

Lack of bridge slows relief effort in Susta

NAWALPARASI: Relief workers and volunteers have been facing difficulties in distribution of relief materials to flood-hit Susta, Nawalparasi due to the lack of bridge across Narayani River. 

Benevolent individuals and social organisations are compelled to take risk crossing the rain-swollen Narayani river on boats to reach Susta which is surrounded on three sides by the river and India on the south. 

Narayan Bhandari of Bardaghat, who reached Susta for relief distribution, said that the relief materials were taken to the affected area on boat with full of risks. 

Boat service is the only way to reach Susta from the Nepali side. Sailing across the swollen river is considered quite dangerous during the monsoon season. 

Sahamati Sanstha, an organisation working for the flood victims, distributed relief materials in Susta on Saturday. The organisation distributed foodstuffs to 504 families in Susta and Pratappur. A package of 30kg rice, pulse, salt and some vegetables were distributed to each affected family.

Around 3,500 families of Wards 3, 4 and 5 of Susta Rural Municipality and various settlements in Sarawal, Pratappur, Palhinandan have been affected by flooding and inundation in the district. 

The District Natural Disaster Rescue Committee, the Nepal Red Cross Society, the Nawalparasi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, among other social organisations, are distributing the relief to the flood victims. The relief distribution has been difficult as the floods washed away roads in Sarawal, Pratappur and Palhinandan areas. 

Relief provided to Rautahat flood victims 

HETAUDA: The Nepal Army’s Central Divisional Headquarters in Hetauda and the NA Wives Association distributed relief to the flood victims at Ganahi Rural Municipality-1 on Saturday. The NA team distributed relief package comprising 20kg rice, a blanket, mat and rehydration solution to each of 385 flood affected families. The NA team also set up a health camp in the settlement and examined 325 people. (PR)

Published: 20-08-2017 08:27

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