The floods and landslides that took place recently in the country caused havoc in various districts of the country. The two major affected districts were Sindhupalchowk and Manang where the floods washed away homes and physical infrastructure.
In fact, the government has also declared Sindhupalchowk and Manang as disaster-hit districts until mid-October. Both the districts had recorded a significant loss of lives and property in June due to the monsoon-induced disasters.
The decision to declare the two districts as disaster-hit was made at the meeting of the Council of Ministers on July 19, Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs and Government Spokesperson, Gyanendra Bahadur Karki had informed.
According to the latest figures of the Nepal Disaster Risk Reduction Centre (NDRRC), the floods have damaged one road, one Bailey bridge and one community building in Manang. Similarly, eight suspension bridges, two concrete bridges and seven motorable wooden bridges have also suffered significant damage. The other physical infrastructure that have been damaged are four government offices, one school and a building housing a bank have also been damaged.
The NDRRC has also informed that the powerhouses of two local hydropower projects have been completely damaged and the pipelines of two such projects have been washed away in Manang.
While speaking to NepalNews, Bishnu Lamichhane, Chief District Officer of Manang district, mentioned that the recent natural disasters have caused a lot of damage in the district. He added that efforts are being made to provide relief to those affected as quickly as possible.
CDO Lamichhnae reaffirmed that the government has already declared Manang as a disaster-hit district, which means that resources can be mobilised for rescue and relief efforts under the discretion of the chief district officer. He added this makes things easier because all relief efforts can be coordinated through one focal point.
In total, 59 private houses and physical infrastructure units have suffered total damage and 20 have suffered partial damage in Manang.
Meanwhile, the damage in Sindhupalchowk district is even worse with 338 private houses and other physical infrastructure facing complete damage. The NDRRC has mentioned that seven concrete bridges and 14 suspension bridges have been destroyed in the district. Likewise, 32 government buildings and 10 pisciculture farms have been damaged in Sindhupalchowk.
The floods in Melamchi of Sindhupalchowk district have also significantly damaged the Melamchi Drinking Water Project.
While speaking to Dambar Bahadur Aryal, Mayor of Melamchi Municipality in Sindhupalchowk, he told NepalNews that the federal government has declared the district as disaster-hit but they have not been informed as to what initiatives will be taken for the district.
He added that as per his understanding the federal government will probably provide resources to build the physical infrastructure that have been damaged in the district. “This is a natural disaster which we had not prepared for so the funds required for the rescue and relief efforts have not been included in the regular budget that we have announced,” he mentioned.
Aryal added that they will either have to divert funds that have been allocated for other purposes in the budget or wait for the federal government to provide the necessary funds.
While speaking to a government official involved in NDRRC, who did not want to be named, the concerned districts were declared as disaster-hit as per the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act, 2074 and Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Rules, 2076 (2019). She said that various programmes have been launched and will gradually be implemented in the disaster-hit districts.
She stated that for example the World Bank has provided a soft loan for the reconstruction of private houses in disaster-hit districts and the government will add more funds to it so as to provide relief to all who have been affected by natural disasters. She mentioned that focus will be laid on the reconstruction of physical infrastructure and private houses that have been damaged during the natural disasters.