10/13/2009, 00.00
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Nepal: landslides and deaths in the rain. UN: risk of food crisis

by Kalpit Parajuli
The areas most affected are the districts west of Kathmandu. Some villages have been without food for days. The Red Cross has distributed rations of rice, but not enough to feed all the displaced.

Kathmandu (AsiaNews) - "The rains have taken away my cattle, the house with everything that was inside. Now I have nothing but my body soaked with water”. Radha BK is a woman in the district of Bardia. She found refuge in a school with hundreds of other homeless, victims of the monsoon which in recent days has poured down on Madhya Pashchimanchal, a region west of Kathmandu.

Torrential rains have affected mainly the districts of Banke, Bardia, Kailali, Kanchanpur and Achham, on the border with India, causing rivers to burst their banks and mudslides that have killed over 50 people.  

The homeless are thousands and local sources report the rapid spread of diarrhoea and pneumonia among the displaced. There is a struggle to get relief  through because of blocked roads and the population suffers from hunger.  

In some villages in the district of Kailali food has been lacking for five days now. In Patalkot, Siddheswar and other municipalities in the district of Achham more than two hundred families were left without homes washed away by landslides.

The Nepal Red Cross has distributed rations of rice in some of the worst affected areas, but has already made it clear that aid is not enough. Members of local assemblies of the flooded districts have launched a fund-raising appeal for basic first aid to help the victims.  

Laira Tharu, 70, from a village of Bardia weeps recounting the loss of his only son and says: "His work maintained the seven members of our family. How can I survive now that the rains have taken him away from me? ".  

The Nepal office of the World Food Program has warned the authorities in Kathmandu of the risk of a serious food crisis caused by damage to crops caused by the rains.



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