BANKE: The flood s that wreaked the region less than two weeks ago have left the victims in lurch following the request from the District Education Office ( DEO ) to vacate the school premises being used as shelter.
The DEO has asked the victims to leave by Saturday evening with an intention to re-open the schools by Sunday. The notice has further complicated the situation and left the victims confused as to where and how they would find shelter.
“We could use makeshift tents but someone has to provide us with it first,” said Basmati Nepali of Mankhola in Udaypur, a victim who had her house swept away. Expressing concerns over having a roof as shelter, Nepali stressed that the concerned authorities should prioritise the distribution of relief and rehabilitation.
Hundreds of victims have apparently been using 16 school buildings in the district as temporary shelter after the recent flood s ravaged their houses. However, following the improvement in weather and to avoid hampering children’s education, the DEO had decided to re-open the schools, according to Nepali.
The victims from Titihiriya VDC had been taking shelter at Laxmi Primary School and Bageshwori Janasewa Secondary School, while victims from Udharapur and Sonpur VDCs stayed at Janasewa Secondary School and Jana Kalyan Secondary School. Meanwhile, two schools at Phattephur, Sarawati Primary School and Lalpur Lower Secondary Schools, have informed the DEO of being unable to resume classes before Aug 31.
According to focal person of natural disasters at the District Development Committee Jiwan Neupane, victims living in three schools have left for other locations after receiving relief materials including tents. “The victims taking shelter at 13 schools are yet to get the relief and the longer the authorities take to distribute relief, the longer schools stay closed,” Neupane said, adding that they had requested the concerned authorities to provide relief at the earliest.
Nepane said that they had been facing a major problem in removing the displaced from schools in Phattepur, Sidhanwa and Paneriya as the houses of the victims had either been damaged or remain inundated. Since the authorities are not in a position to evict them forcefully, victim Ram Suresh Yadav of Phattepur remained mistified as to where to take shelter with empty pockets and ailing children.
Information officer of the DEO Man Prasad Regmi clarifyed that they do not intend to use force while removing the victims taking shelter at schools and their overall safety was their primary concern.
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