Bhojpur locals pulling together life torn apart by quake
BHOJPUR, May 30: Ramesh Nepal, a local of Kot VDC of Bhojpur district, was seen plowing his field on Friday while his fifteen-year-old sister had gone to school. Their mother was retrieving some necessary belongings from their three-storey house badly damaged by the catastrophic 7.8 magnitude earthquake of April 25.
They have abandoned the damaged house and the family has been since living in a tent, which they received along with other relief materials provided to quake-hit people. They recently completed construction of a makeshift shed where they plan to spend the upcoming monsoon.
Ramesh, who has also been preparing for grade 12 board exam, said, “Financially we are very weak and we cannot immediately start building a permanent house. So we have to contend with shed as our new home at least until the upcoming winter.” The quake destroyed 105 houses in the VDC alone while 200 houses sustained partial damages. At present, locals are busy building temporary shelters and are recovering from the disaster as normalcy is slowly returning.
Charambi VDC-6 lies in the east of the district headquarters. At present, quake victims in the village are helping each other for constructing temporary shelters. Dhurba Lakandri, a local, has already managed to construct makeshift shelter nearby his collapsed house. His family now lives in the temporary house and has already embraced a normal routine.
Likewise, Dobhane VDC, which is two day’s walk from the district headquarters, is slowly recovering after more than a month of the devastating earthquake. Due to its difficult geography, relief materials had reached the locals very late, adding to their suffering.
However, locals have already started to build their own houses and normalcy is slowly returning in the district. According to the data provided by the District Disaster Relief Committee (DDRC), 350 houses in the VDC collapsed while 200 others sustained partial damages. Around 1,000 families reside in the VDC.
According to DDRC Bhojpur, the quake has destroyed 3,251 houses in the district while 7,000 houses suffered partial damages. The quake victims have accused the government of turning a blind eye to their plights despite Bhojpur being the most affected district in the Eastern Region.
The government has classified Bhojpur as less affected by the quake, which has agitated the locals. Ram Bahadur BK of Dobhane said they did not receive any relief till the second week of the great quake.
Even those people whose homes were destroyed by the earthquake were provided Rs 5,000 of pittance, said BK.
The government has allocated Rs 10.5 million to distribute among the quake victims of Bhojpur. According to the DDRC, Rs 4.39 million of that amount has already been distributed as of Thursday. Chief District Officer, Dil Kumar Tamang, said Rs 5,000 is being distributed to all the families who lost their home. “The amount is only for the immediate relief. More financial assistance is coming,” said Tamang.
112 schools, 59 govt buildings damaged
As many as 112 community schools of Bhojpur district were damaged by the quake, including Jalpa HS of Khatamma, Birendra HSS of Kulung, and Panchakanya Primary School of Dobhane.
According to DDRC, 12 schools were completely damaged while others were partially damaged.
Similarly, 59 government buildings also sustained damages from the quake, which includes buildings of District Police Office, District Court, VDCs buildings, among others.