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Flood victims spend nights in makeshift shelter in Rautahat

KATHMANDU : Sixty-five year old Saraswati Koiri broke her left leg while trying to escape from floood waters that gushed into her village on Friday night.

She was rescued by her son. Both mother and son had a close shave with nature as torrential rainfall flooded their village of Badaharwa in Durga Bhawati Rural Municipality, Rautahat.

The flood destroyed all the family’s belongings and the crops in their field.

It’s been five days since the incident, and Koiri is yet to receive medical care for her broken leg.

“We hope the government will manage a place for us to live. We will manage the food,” Koiri said.

Before the flood, Badaharwa had 400 houses; 338 of them were either damaged or swept away on Friday night. Two hundred families are spending nights in makeshift shelters on the banks of Bagmati River. Forty more are living in ‘safe homes’ put together by Mandavi Organisation, a philanthropic institution.

But there’s a scarcity of water and food in these makeshift shelters, according to the flood displaced people. Basic sanitation is also lacking, as a result of which many people have contracted cold.

“There is also the threat of snakes. It’s a very difficult situation here,” said Jasoda Devi Sah, a flood victim taking shelter on the banks of Bagmati River. On Tuesday, a team of Nepal Army and Armed Police Force led by Chief District Officer Kiran Thapa visited the shelters for flood displaced people and distributed relief materials, including tarpaulin sheets and food.

But the flood victims said tarpaulins were of little use to them.

“We don’t need any more relief materials. What we need is a safe space to live in,” said Indraju Das, another flood displaced villager.

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