Kutiyakabar locals in constant fear of being swept by swollen Mahakali, Jogbudha rivers

The local people of Kutiyakabar of Dodhara Chandani Municipality-10 in Kanchanpur district are a terrified lot when it rains. So much so they have spent many sleepless nights due to the fear of being swept away by the flooded Mahakali and Jogbudha rivers, said a local Khadke Budha.

“We cannot have peaceful mind when monsoon starts. We remain awake the whole night to check the water level in the rivers. The flooded rivers directly advance towards the village when it rains. We can do nothing but to wait for this,” he said.

Kutiyakabar is a Nepali settlement across the Mahakali river linking India surrounded by the rivers. Over 400 people of around 40 families reside in the village. The local people face the perennial problem of flood when monsoon starts, said another local Basanti Sunar.

“Some days ago, we were informed that the Dhauliganga dam remained open. Then we could not sleep due to the fear of flood.”

The Sunar couple resides here with two small daughters and aged mother. The local residents are vigilant and frequently keep an eye on mobile apps for any alert messages regarding potential disasters. They have already packed their luggage in advance so that they should not waste a time for the preparations before escaping to safety during emergency.

During floods, we find it very challenging to flee to safety. “We will be unable to manage time to pick up even the most basic necessities,” said local Bam Bahadur Sunar. “

“It comes like it is going to devour all of us,” he said being based on his subjective experiences.

Some move to school buildings while others prefer seeking refuge at neighbours’ houses which locate at relatively safe areas. The Mahakali River has already initiated soil erosion at Kutiyakabar.

“This time, we so far fortunately experiences no major flood. Nevertheless, the continuous erosion is causing significant damage, converting fertile paddy fields into barren desert lands. If timely action is not taken to control the river’s erosion, we are sure to be rendered totally homeless,” he said.

One of the major grievances of Kutiyakabar folks is that the local people’s representatives are apathetic towards their issues and agony. In each election, political represetantives here visit the settlement with assurances to end the problems of natural disasters, but once they get elected, they no more remember the promises, according to local Ain Bahadur Sunar.

“The river is emerging high, we in downhill and we are greatly in fear over assessing the high possibility that the river could run towards the settlement at any time,” he said.

The locals demand the construction of cemented embankments to the Mahakali and Jogbudha rivers and a safe house at the locality during emergency. As they say, they find no viable means to avoid the flood and its devastating consequences every year. They who live in vulnerable conditions are uncertain if the government will be there to support them during such crises.



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