Flood vulnerable Pathariya VDC sets example in disaster risk reduction
PATHARIYA(Kailali), Sept 16: Collective effort of locals, government and different political and social organizations is bearing fruit as the residents of Pathariya VDC say they are self-dependant to reduce disaster risk in their region.
As resident of one of the flood vulnerable area of the district that is itself under the torrent threat, the locals have prepared themselves to make the strategic choices that affect their lives.
Mostly affected by the Karnali River, also 23 small rivers and stream merge with each other causing flood in rainy season in the of far-western districts.
In the flood occurred in 2008, two people were killed whereas 10 houses and three bridges were swept away along with cattle and land in the Pathariya VDC. “The devastation we faced five years ago is still fresh in our memory so we are participating in emergency responding training to save our lives and basic requirement if such disasters occurs again,” said Phool Rani Kushmi of Pathariya-3, Amauri.
The VDC office has distinguished that 11 communities among total 34 are at mostly at risk as per which four different emergency responding committees have been formed as a part of disaster risk reduction, said the VDC secretary Mahesh Raj Regmi. “The most vulnerable communities are being trained by the CARE Nepal in coordination with local government and non-government organizations whereas rest 23 communities are in safety preparation under our leadership,” he said. Kulhariya, Mohna and Dhaubitiyar River mainly flood the VDC.
Regmi informed that 162 volunteers are working in the Pathriya VDC that homes total 22,439 populations at present. Four separate emergency respond committees have been formed that enhances the risk reduction process in family, community and schools level, effective and functional community based early warning system established, functioning and institutionalizing.
To attest their skills on acting immediately, 400 locals of Pathariya recently demonstrated a mock drill where all the households of Palbazar community took part. “We participate in a mock drill in a certain time gap so that we can work more effectively when there is flood in village,” said Sunita Chaudhary, member of pre-information committee of the community. Generally, there are four to six members in each respond committees.
She further explained that pre-information committee members inform the community when to remain alert or leave their home and move to safe shelter when water level overflows in the river. Dressed with life jackets, search and rescue committee is responsible to search and save the victims drowning in flood water.
Likewise, first aid committee members provide primary treatment to the flood victims and carry them to health posts and fourth one is responsible to manage safer shelter to elderly, disabled people and pregnant women.
Another local Bhadduwa Kathariya, 45 of Palbazar shared his experience saying, “Few years ago, we used to run away empty hands and climb on the trees to save lives. But now, we are capable of saving our belongings such as important documents clothes and food due to pre-information about flood,” said Kathariya.
The people living in western Nepal have several experience of flooding. Flood occurred in 2008 in Kailali killed 15 people whereas 28 went missing. The data available at the Ministry of Home and Affairs (MoHA) estimates that at least 16000 houses of 39 VDcs and two municipalities were affected and 15,019 families were displaced in the districts. Tikapur municipality, Lalbhoj, Satbigha and Pathriya VDCs were also one of the most affected districts in the flood.
Similarly, 10 people were killed, 125 displaced, and seven went missing in the district last year. At least 25 houses were damaged whereas 10 were injured in the disaster, according to the MoHA.