Forced to Live With Looming Fear of Landslide

  May 11, 2023 By: INSEC

Landslides in Sandhikharka Municipality-7 have made the lives of the Dalit community difficult for the last 44 years. Despite them living at high risk for this long year, no relevant authorities have taken any action.

Kulbahadur Nepali, 90, says ‘Since 1978/79, the land above the settlement slipped and the Todiyar River, which was on the base of the settlement, started to overflow and buried the settlement, risking 62 households. The local government did not show any interest in solving this problem.’

‘Ever since the incident took place none of us can have a sound sleep during the rainy season, all of us fear heavy rain’ Said, Nepali. 

He complained that even after raising the issue of the risk of landslides many times in the meetings, there was no hearing. In 1979\80, with the permission of the District Administrative Office, locals explored places like Lamatal, Chisapani, Mouribari, Pabra, and Shivapur for new settlement areas. However, they could not find adequate land for all of them.

Nepali said that every year during heavy rain, the ground sinks. They are compelled to live with the fear that the landslides will sweep away their settlements.

Sanjay Nepali one of the local youths expressed that the local and federal government only talks about relocation but has not done anything about it. He also said that during the election, the political leaders helped people by distributing food grains and promised to protect them by relocating the settlement; however, today even the representatives have not addressed their issues. Approximately, 41 out of 62 households in the territory are at risk of landslide. During the heavy rain of September 2022, the local school provides refuge to women, pregnant women, children, and people with disability. This phase was very difficult for all of them.

Basant Nepali, a ward member of Sandhikharka Municipality-7, said that the members of the Dalit community take refuge in the school or their neighbor’s houses during monsoon. 

Chura Bahadur KC, Ward Chairperson of Sandhikhark Municipality 7, said that the ward office has provided support, within its capacity, and has sent archives of the critical zone houses to the Provincial Office through District Administrative Office.

Krishna Prasad Shrestha, the Mayor of Sandhikhark Municipality, said that the residential area is under a high-risk zone but the municipality has not been able to manage the situation due to the low budget.

According to a study by geologists, it is not possible to live in Bhujunge. Landslide victims require land for relocation but the budget for the relocation is not enough. 

Although the Municipality decided to provide 30,000 rupees as a relief fund to the landslide victims, they could not manage enough funds to initiate the process. They kept a record of houses affected by the landslide, however, the National Disaster Management Office and Ministry Of Home Affairs have not entered it into their database yet.

According to Numalal Panthi, The Chief Administrative Officer of the District Administration Office, they will start the discussion and continue to work further after they receive the study report prepared by the geologist. 

Kul Bahadur Nepali