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475 families at risk of landslides in Bajura, Far-west Nepal

A landslide in Paima of Kailashmandau VDC in Bajura district in July 2016. Photo: Prakash Singh

BAJURA: Around 475 families at high risk of landslides, in Bajura, Far-west Nepal.
The landslide that first occurred some 35 years ago had made the land of half a dozen villages of the district unsafe for human settlement.
Locals of Bajedi, Basali and Nimani villages of Budiganga Rural Municipality and Guiban and Gumla villages of Chededaha Rural Municipality are aware of the looming threat of landslides but they have not found a safe place to relocate.
The landslides that hit Guiban and Gumla villages in 2045 B.S have wreaked havoc in the settlements in both village and adjoining villages of Budiganga Rural Municipality.
Following the landslide in 2045 B.S.’ these villages also witnesseda massive landslide in 2053 B.S.
The landslide that took place in these areas is considered as one of the massive landslides of the district.
The landslide had rendered the land unsafe for settlement. Since they have no place to relocate the settlement, the locals are compelled to live in the unsafe land for the past 35 years, said the locals.
The locals have claimed that the authority has not shown any interest to relocate these settlements in the safer place.
Twenty five families of Gumla, 50 families of Guiban, 150 families of Bajedi, 135 families of Basali and 115 families of Nimani villages are at the high risk of landslide.
The landslide had also blocked the Budiganga River, sweeping hundreds of ropanis of land from of the villagers.
The expert teams which reached the location of landslide had suggested the district administration to relocate these villages.
Locals said since 2045 B.S., during every monsoon the residents of these villages lived in temporary shelters in safe place for a few months and returned to their risky settlements after the onset of winter.
According to ward chair of Budiganga Rural Municiplaity-2 Hira Thapa, the landslide has swept away 250 ropanis of land of Gumla, 350 ropanis of Guiban, 150 ropanis of Nimani, 350 ropanis of Bajedi and 250 ropanis of land in Basali village.
Setey Rawal, a local of Gumla village, said they were restless. “It seems that our village is going to be hit by a massive disaster in a near future. But there is no place to go,” he added.
A team of experts had also visited the site, but nothing had changed, said Rawal adding, “We wanted to live in a safe land but there is no one to care about our ordeal.”
Dev Raj Joshi, another local of Bajedi village, said since 2045 B.S., half a dozen of villages of the district have been witnessing small landslide due to fragile landscape of the village.
“This has terrified the villagers even more. We are desperately searching for a safer place to shift.”
Prem Thapa of Nimani said that the landslide had already swept away their farmland. “Landslides have spared only a few area of land village. There are many landslides around here. The fear of being swept away or buried torments all of us every year.”
“We can see signs of impending disaster, but with no option we are compelled to live risking our life,” said Khadak Adhikari of Budiganga.
The state and central governments need to take an initiative to relocate the villages to safer locations, he added.

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