Flood and landslide victims await relief materials

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Relief materials provided by provincial government stuck in godowns

Dilliram Khatiwada

Relief materials meant for the flood and landslide victims of Limchubung and Tapli rural municipality in Taplejung district are stuck in godowns while the victims lie in wait for relief.

The Province 1 government had airlifted food stuff including rice, pulse, salt and edible oil on Thursday and Friday to be disbursed among the victims. However, the local units have not distributed the relief materials yet stating that the available relief materials are not enough for all the victims in the rural municipality.

According to Keshar Khadka, the ward chief of Limchungbung-5, who is also the spokesperson for the local unit, they have yet to determine the exact number of victims. “But we don’t have the required amount of the relief materials. The number of people demanding relief far exceeds the amount of relief materials available,” he said. “However, we will assess the data of genuine victims who were hit the hardest and distribute the relief materials soon. For now, the number of victims seeking relief is far more than what we can provide for.”

The provincial government has allocated 3,900kg rice, 570kg pulse, 250kg salt and 250 litres of oil for Tapli. Similarly, 4,110kg rice, 250 kg pulse, 150 kg salt and 130 litres of oil has been allocated for the victims of Limchungbung.

Various settlements of Limchubung and Tapli are reeling under shortage of essential commodities after landslides damaged parts of the Limchungbung-Gaighat and Katari-Limchungbung road sections in July third week, obstructing vehicular movement.

Similarly, a number of landslides triggered by heavy rains have displaced dozens of families in the area.

The local people are hungry and angry over the delay in relief distribution. “We are struggling to fill our stomachs but the rural municipality has not budged. The displaced are taking shelter in their neighbours’ house in pitiable conditions,” said Jas Bahadur Khatri of Tekanpur.

Limchungbung municipality declared the local unit as a crisis zone last week. The rural municipality demanded provincial government to deliver special relief packages for the flood-and landslide-affected households.