By Aashu Sarraf
More than a year after the disastrous earthquake that killed around 9000 people causing loss of billions in a pre-economically paralyzed country, earthquake victims in Nepal still wait for government’s relief to return back to their huts from the raunchy tarpaulins they received as immediate respite after the quake ransacked their homes. The two fickle governments from separate parties, after the earthquake, have only been able provide awful assertions to the victims ever since the earthquake hit Nepal.
The commitment of the incumbent government to provide shelter to the earthquake hit families before the Monsoon is in limbo as a result of ill-preparation by the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) and the government itself, meanwhile the victims are reeling under another fear of havoc from landslide and flash floods this monsoon. It is critical that they they receive relief from the government to build shelters for their families to beat the cringe of the monsoon, followed by the cold winter.
The arbitrary and haste announcements yelled by the government to build shelter for the victims before the monsoon created a fringe of hope for the earthquake victims. The PM Oli’s led government had circulated numerous ukase to please them before but has instead even forsaken to even identify the victims, while the zero hour proclaimed by the government had already passed. The series of aftershocks backed by the April 25th and May 12th quakes have weakened the soil, fracturing the rocks in the places hit hard by the shake. harshly This has further increased the chances of landslides which has become a peril for the people this monsoon as landslide with potential to cause ruinous damage is inevitable.
Though some victims have already received a portion of relief amount, most of them are still banking upon the mercenary NGO’s and INGO’s funds as government is ferociously busy in the political hassle being exercised on the masquerade of the earthquake victims. The political clique of Nepal is so entangled with the power game that it has failed to sympathize with the situation of earthquake victims who are battling with their own fate in many districts of Nepal without proper food, medical facilities and other basics.
Recently, a report published by the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) warned 150,000 houses in the five quake-affected districts as high risks of being swept away by landslide and debris flow this monsoon if paramount cautions are not taken. The report, conducted in Gorkha, the epicentre of the April 25 earthquake, Rasuwa, Dolakha, Dhading and Sindhupalchok, also revealed 51 to 72 percent of VDC in these districts are at alarming risk of landslides, which also identified 5,951 possible landslide spots in the 15 quake-affected districts. But NRA is espied giving same feudal condone that it had been busy gathering data about the earthquake victims and couldn’t mobilise required manpower to conduct detailed research about the risk in the quake hit places this monsoon. Additionally, our government is witnessing the fiasco mutely.
Now the earthquake victims are baffled and left with no hope except sending their striplings abroad as migrant laborers for some dough to rebuild their homes. This has worsened the manpower scarcity at a time when the Nation needs young minds to promptly modify the sluggish political rondure. Actually, the feudal position of Nepali politics is a dispensation of increasing number of youths fleeing abroad seeking employment. Vehement leadership is never sought in Nepal because the potent minds who need change are riding buses and constructing buildings in Gulf and reciprocity of power amongst the grey leaders continues to happen.
According to the officials of the Department of Foreign Employment (DoFE), around 527,814 Nepali youths obtained labour permit last fiscal year to leave the country for foreign employment. Most of them are working in harsh climatic conditions in countries like Afghanistan, Qatar, and Malaysia, among others, where they literally risk their lives. The recent event in Afghanistan that claimed lives of 13 Nepalese is a manifesto that Nepalese labourers are vulnerable to terrorist attack. Not only that, coffins from different gulf countries land at Tribhuwan International Airport (TIA) on a daily basis with dead bodies, shattering the hopes of many families who send their kin away in pursuit of economic opportunities.
Not just the government, other political power stations of the Nation are identically liable for this context. The recent six-month agitation in the southern plains by Madhesis against the constitution also caused an economic embargo at bordering points with India terminating essential supplies. Though, the blockade was meant to stoop Kathmandu on its knees and get the demands addressed, it purposelessly kept the earthquake victims aloof from the regular supplies of medication and relief from other countries. The capital remained untouched by the blockade with the vice of black-marketing that persisted during the entire term of blockade in the southern plains.
It is evident that neither the ruling nor the erstwhile government has aptly expressed its concerns for the earthquake victims since the earthquake hit. Instead they have fooled the victims with fraud words. Conclusively we can say that the political fraternity spiel for earthquake victims is to lure votes in the next election and the victims may have to shelter under the same tarpaulin this monsoon again.