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Monsoon adds to earthquake victims’ woes

An elderly woman who lost other family members in the devestating April 25 Earthquake, living a miserable life in a temporary shelter at Batase in Sindhulpalchok district on Wednesday, January 27, 2016. Photo: RSS

Damauli, June 23, 2016: Life has become unbearable for the locals at Barpak VDC in Gorkha, the epicentre of last year’s devastating earthquake, with the onset of monsoon.

Earthquake victims are still living under makeshift tents one year after the disaster that shook the nation. The tents get inundated after rainfall, which has now become a daily occurrence in the victims’ settlements.

Barpak VDC Secretary Chet Prasad Amgain said the hardship of quake victims has increased due to incessant rainfall. He said the locals could not come out of the houses due to the rain.

Amgain said 50 of the 1,294 families in Barpak VDC have to sit under their tents. He further informed that British Welfare had built 26 houses and JICA had built the VDC building at a cost of Rs 2 crore.

JICA has also agreed to construct the Himalayan Higher Secondary School’s building at a cost of Rs 13 crore.

Amgain informed that the district administration office will be depositing Rs 50,000 in each victim family’s account.

Chairman Suk Bahadur BK of CPN-Maoist Centre at the village committee said quake victims were facing a hard time with the onset of monsoon. “The victims are compelled to spend nights under leaking tents,” he said.

Meanwhile, Gorkha Chief District Officer Narayan Prasad Bhatta said the office has been posting the government given relief amount in the bank accounts of victims.

“We offer Rs 50,000 to the victims in the first instalment and the next instalment will be sent after a Damp Proof Course, while the remaining amount will be sent after completion of the houses,” he informed.

CDO Bhatta said that as many as 10 group housings were being constructed with the initiative of Nepali Army soldiers for the victims.

It is said that reconstruction work under the National Reconstruction Authority has been halted due to heavy rainfall in rural areas. As many as 627 households of Laprak VDC have been shifted to Gupsipakha.

As many as 472 persons were killed in the disaster while more than 67,000 houses were damaged completely by the earthquake.