Thursday Jun 8, 2023
Thursday Jun 8, 2023

Flood victims in Kanchanpur untouched by festivity

2022 Oct 24, 20:38, Kanchanpur
Representative image (Picture: Pinterest)

Tihar, the second biggest festival of lights celebrated by Hindu people, is in full swing.

Houses and streets in most parts of the country are decorated with lights and various types of flowers and flower garlands while people are busy preparing delicacies during the festival. However, a settlement mostly inhabited by landslide and flood victims along the banks of the Banahara river at Shuklaphanta Municipality-11 in Kanchanpur district seems to remain untouched by any such festivity.

The settlement houses 30 families comprising flood victims and landless squatters who have been residing in the area for 27 years. Most of their mud houses are with roofs and walls covered with traps. They have placed logs over the roof traps to protect them from blowing away by winds. The situation goes from bad to worse when it rains and winds. There are chances that water leaks into and winds blow roofs. But, they have no option.

 Proper accommodation aside, they are finding it hard to manage two square meals a day. "I am worried about managing two square meals a day let alone celebrating festivals. I have yet to get my flood-damaged house repaired," lamented a landslide victim, Makhi Raut. He was displaced and found a shelter in the settlement after his house and land at Barhabis in the Bajura district were swept away by a landslide 17 years ago.

"I have shifted here. But, the problem of flooding here is the same. We are living in constant fear of wild animals from the nearby forests. The government must manage our accommodation." Some of the inhabitants are victims of the flooding one month ago. There are 21 school-going children in the settlement. But, their studies have been affected after the flood washed away stationery items including textbooks and exercise books, said a local Laxmi Sunar. "Most of us are daily wagers. We are facing hardships to manage two square meals a day. Without money, I am wondering how to buy clothes and textbooks for my children," she said.

Local Kamala Pati Damai demanded that the government manages safe accommodation for them. "We are at risk of being affected by the river and a drain running from the community forest nearby," she said.

Wild animals straying from the forest and forests in neighboring Indian cities have also posed risks. Wild animals straying from forests in Indian cities have attacked the residents and destroyed crops, she said. "We could support for ourselves and our families even as daily wagers when the government manages safe accommodation for us. Fake landless squatters have got lands in the name of genuine landless squatters. But, we have been deprived of it."



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