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Water crisis triggers exodus of villagers

Dang, June 19, 2016: Dang’s Koilabash VDC, one of the oldest and major border points linking mid and far-western regions to India, is fast turning into a desert due to acute shortage of drinking water.

Residents of nine wards of Koilabash VDC are migrating to other places, leaving behind their houses and lands owing to acute water shortage.

The entire VDC, which borders India’s Uttar Pradesh, wears a deserted look.

The water shortage has been attributed to drying water sources, failure to locate new water sources and apathy on the part of the government.

DSP Prakash Raj Sharma, at the district police office, made a field visit of Koilabash area and said dearth of drinking water had adversely affected the lives of local residents.

“I reached every ward, but I did not see people in more than two wards,” said DSP Sharma.

Local Jabed Ali said the villagers went to the bordering Balarampur area to fetch drinking water.

“Indian SSB security personnel draw underground water and
distribute it to the locals in the morning and evening,” Jabed said.

He added that the water distributed by the SSB was only enough for drinking purpose and the locals visited Koilabashkhola to take bath. “But, the river is also drying up,” he said.

There are two lower secondary and four primary schools in Koilabash. With a huge number of people migrating from the village, the number of students in schools is also on the decline.

Koilabash VDC office said the village had more than 1,500 families and 9,000 people until 10 years ago.

Currently, Koilabash Bazaar, Khabari, Sisaura, Musinaka and Ghangraul villages have only 110, 20, 13, 28 and 3 families, respectively.

VDC Secretary Prem Thapa said, “Koilabash VDC hardly has 500 people at present.” The people left in the VDC are mostly elderly, women and children.

By Jaya Ram Gautam