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Flood-survivors celebrating Dashain under tents for over eight years

By Prakash Adhikari,KARNALI:- Dashain festival has brought cheers to many but the Girighat settlement near Surkhet Valley seems to have a dejected life.
The recurring massive flooding in the Bheri River on 13-14 August in 2014 had rendered as many as 100 households displaced.
After flooding turned their Taranga village of Barahataal into a river shore, the residents were forced to live under tents at camps in Girighat for the past eight years.
“We have not celebrated Dashain festival with joy for the past eight years. We have neither our homes nor families”, said 41-said Lalita Sunar.
“Dashain reminds us painful moment. Our optimism has turned into pieces”, he added.
Majority of youths here have been compelled to go India looking for employment after being rendered displaced due to flooding.
Most of those living under tents are women and children. They have eked out their livelihood by quarrying stones and collecting firewood.
Other flood-fed rivers and rivulets of Bheri and Surkhet had left 115 people dead in Surkhet and rendered displaced as many as 1,045 households.
Roughly 454 households out of the displaced are still living under tents.
Harilal Tarami, another flood survivor, said they have spent painful seven years with hand-to-mouth problem from dawn to dusk. “There is no source of income in the camp. We have to purchase daily essentials, including veggies”, he said, adding, “We are not excited with the arrival of festive season”.
Though the government had provided budget for house construction, it is not possible to buy land with the grant amount, the displaced people commented. “We get rs 150,000 in the first installment for the house construction. With the amount we could not buy land for residence in any area in Surkhet. How we can build our house when land availability is a far cry?”, questioned Lalit Bahadur Shahi.
The survivors have expressed worry for not being rehabilitated even in eight years.
The Karnali province government shared that it had rehabilitated 551 flood-displaced households in 2071 BS.
According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Law, the province government had handed over 254 houses in Birendranagar municipality, 46 in Barahataal rural municipality, 12 in Lekbesi municipality, 160 in Bheriganga municipality, 32 in Gurvakot municipality, 84 in Panchapuri municipality and three in Chaukune rural municipality.
The province government through concerned local level has provided first installment amounting to Rs 150,000, second installment Rs 100,000 and final installment of Rs 50,000 based on the technical report of the house construction.RSS

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