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Ministry of Health and Population urges for prevention of post-quake disease outbreak

Published Date : November 8, 2023

Kathmandu, Nov 8: The government has urged the bodies concerned to carry out works for the prevention of possible disease outbreak, malnutrition and psycho-social problems following the earthquake and for their proper management.

Ministry spokesman Dr Prakash Budhathoki said the Ministry has urged all the concerned agencies for the same.

He said the Ministry has today mobilized a three-member team from the Epidemiology and Disease Control Division to the earthquake-hit areas for assessing in coordination with the provinces the likelihood of disease outbreak. 

The Ministry stated that the people injured due to the earthquake and its aftershocks are being provided medical treatment at the health post and hospitals at the respective local level wards or at the provincial hospital in the district.

Among those injured persons referred for treatment, 19 are receiving treatment at the Provincial Hospital Surkhet, 46 at the Bheri Hospital Nepalgunj, eight at the TU Teaching Hospital Kathmandu and one at the National Trauma Centre.

 IFRC releases Rs 100 million assistance for earthquake survivors

Kathmandu, Nov 8: As a response to the November 3 earthquake in the Karnali Province, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has released emergency funds to support humanitarian action on the ground. 

The fund was released few days ago to the Nepal Red Cross Society (NRCS) through the Disaster Response Emergency Fund (DREF). The assistance amount is equivalent to Rs 100 million.

IFRC General Secretary Jagan Chapagain announced this in social site, expressing full solidarity to the people affected. “The IFRC is closely monitoring the situation and stands ready for any assistance that may be required,” Chapagain said. He appealed to Red Cross volunteers to be there on the ground for the support of the survivors.

Reminding of the 2015 major earthquake that struck Nepal to its core, the IFRC General Secretary highlighted the need of more support to meet urgent needs of the affected, and importantly for recovery and reconstruction.

Over 90 volunteers from the NRCS are presently in Jajarkot and Rukum West, the districts affected by the Friday’s late night quake for the rescue and relief efforts, the Society said. 

An earthquake measuring 6.4 on the Richter scale at 11:47 pm on Friday, with its epicenter in Jajarkot, resulted in significant casualties and property damage in the districts of the Karnali Province.

According to the preliminary reports, so far over 150 have been confirmed dead in these two districts with 345 injured. Likewise, 12,006 families have been displaced, 38705 have been affected while 9,483 houses were damaged by the disaster causing partial damages on 19,286 houses.

The NRCS said it has to date distributed 700 mattresses, 1,500 tarpaulins, the same number of blankets and other necessary items in the disaster-affected areas. The action will continue, it is said.

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NC assigns general secretary duo in earthquake hit area to focus on seven tasks

Kathmandu, Nov 8: Nepali Congress general secretaries Gagan Kumar Thapa and Bishwa Prakash Sharma have left for Jajarkot and Rukum Paschim, the two districts in Karnali province hard hit by earthquake occurred in Jajarkot last Friday.

They will carry out the required monitoring of the loss of life and property in the two districts due to the tremor as well as facilitate in the relief distribution and rehabilitation works on behalf the party.

NC, the major ruling coalition partner, had formed the Central Monitoring and Management Facilitation Committee for necessary facilitation in the relief distribution and rehabilitation works following the disaster.

The two general secretaries who head the Committee are visiting the earthquake-affected areas in Jajarkot and Rukum Paschim today.

The party has mobilized the local party rank and file in rescue and relief works, announced an assistance of Rs 5 million and handed over the amount to the government’s disaster relief fund and suspended its public programmes throughout the country after the earthquake. Similarly, the party volunteers from several districts have reached the affected areas with relief assistance and the party has made arrangement for physicians and medicines under the coordination of the DDA the party’s well-wishing organisation.

The Nepali Congress has also called attention of the Prime Minister through a written memo the party’s opinion and suggestions, including the necessary works that have to be carried out immediately and in the long-term.

Chief Secretary at the Nepali Congress Party Office, Krishna Prasad Poudel said general secretaries Thapa and Sharma will remain in the earthquake-affected area for some days and focus their attention to seven major tasks that party has assigned to them, including identifying the reality of shortcomings seen in the relief distribution and drawing the attention of the bodies concerned towards the immediate and appropriate management of the same, and facilitating in the relief and rehabilitation works.

CAAN hands cheque of Rs 10 million to PM Dahal

Kathmandu, Nov 8:  The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) today handed a cheque of Rs 10 million to Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ as per its commitments for monetary assistance to the earthquake survivors in Jajarkot and Rukum West.

 A delegation from the CAAN also comprising Director General Pradeep Kumar and its staff today visited the Prime Minister at his official residence in Baluwatar to hand the cheque. The funds will be deposited in the Prime Minister Disaster Relief Fund, according to CAAN Spokesperson Jagannath Niraula.

An earthquake measuring 6.4 on the Richter scale at 11:47 pm on Friday, with its epicenter in Jajarkot, resulted in over 150 casualties and significant property damage in the districts of the Karnali Province.

KMC to manage stray cattle in Dakshinkali-based ‘Kanji House’

Kathmandu, Nov 8: The Kathmandu Metropolis has decided to manage stray cattle.  According to mayor Balen Shah, any cattle to be found on the streets will be attended by the local government and transported to a ‘kanji house’ or shelter for animals at Kopugaun of Dakshinkali municipality-7.

“Stray cattle are left starved. They do not have access to drinking water and medical care when needed. In addition to this, their presence on the street has increased the risk of road accident. So we have decided to manage them in the kanji house,” he wrote on the social site.

The mayor said 10 metric tons silage has been purchased to feed them and two workers have been contracted on a daily basis to provide care for the cattle. The Dakshinkali municipality is to cooperate with the KMC for the management of stray cattle, it is said.

NA Chair Timilsina calls for protecting human rights of people

Kathmandu, Nov 8: Chairperson of the National Assembly Ganesh Prasad Timilsina has stressed the need to protect human rights of citizens to implement the constitution.

Lawmakers should show their willingness to enforce the constitution, he said at an interaction themed ‘Human rights in today’s context: Constitutional right and practice’ organised here today on the 27th general assembly of the Informal Sector Service Centre (INSEC), Nepal.

“It is getting late to make laws compatible with the constitution. The government bill and private bills have not been brought. There is not a climate conducive to bring the non-governmental bill. Laws will be made when the government gives the parliament its business. But these bills have not been brought yet,” he said.

Bills that have landed in the National Assembly have been advanced with priority, he informed. Dr Surya Dhungel, member of the National Human Rights Commission, credited all for taking the Commission to the Grade ‘A’ level while stressing the need for bringing the human right protection related bill.

INSEC founding president Sushil Pyakurel called for the effective implementation of laws to safeguard rights of citizens. Transitional justice, the main issue of human rights, should be brought to a conclusion, he said and pointed out that there is lax in making and effectively implementing laws despite the constitution guaranteeing rights of people. He called for the coordination among the government at all three levels for the protection of human rights and effective implementation of the laws.

Human rights activist Pradip Pokharel commended the role of INSEC in the field of human rights.

INSEC President Dr Kundan Aryal viewed that the effective implementation of laws ensures the protection of human rights.

17-year-old quake survivor lamenting her little sister’s death from hospital bed

Janaki (Banke), Nov 8: “Sister, save me! Save me!” These haunting words continue to echo in the mind of Juni Bista from Bheri Municipality-1 in Jajarkot district, Nepal.

“I was helpless as I got trapped under the debris of our house after the earthquake struck. I was struggling to breathe, was immobile and unable to speak. I could do nothing to assist my younger sister who desperately cried for help,” these are the words of Juni who has been recuperating from earthquake injuries at the Nepalgunj-based Bheri Hospital since last Saturday.

Juni blames herself for her sister’s loss, burdened by the guilt of not being able to save her.

As per medical observation, Juni has suffered severe injuries to her left hand and this has affected her nerves. After four days of medical care, she has slowly regained some mobility in her legs, although she still cannot move independently. However, the physical discomfort and pain pale in comparison to the emotional distress she experiences when she recalls the harrowing moments of the earthquake and the realization that her beloved sister is no longer with her.

She breaks down in tears when she thinks about her ‘inability’ to save her little sister. She is struggling to cope with the overwhelming grief and guilt.

“Since her admission to the hospital on Saturday, Juni has been unwilling to talk even to her visitors. She lies on the bed hiding her face with a shawl. She is emotionally distressed,” said hospital psychosocial counselor Kamala Dangi.

Dangi has already talked to Juni in three rounds and found that the trauma runs deep. “Juni believes that the earthquake just occurred, devouring her beloved sister,” Dangi said.

“On the third day of our conversation, she opened up with teary eyes about the pain in her heart. She felt sorry for losing her younger sister who grew up with her more than the pain she suffered,” said Dangi.

On that fateful night, Juni went to bed alongside her sister after having dinner. On that night, they have conversed about going to the local fair the following day (Saturday), and the younger sister would wear the kurta suruwal of Juni for the day. However, her wishes could not be fulfilled, she burst into tears.

“Generally, Juni would talk to no one. She would not respond upon being called. But she would burst into tears remembering her deceased sister,” said Dangi, adding, “Her injuries are gradually healing with medicines. But she needs serious care as she is battling psychosocial problems.” Four days of the psychosocial counseling, she talked to Dangi. Her father was in a foreign country for a job, and her mother and brother sustained normal injuries, she said to Dangi. She passed got enrolled for the PCL nursing programme.

It is taking time for her to recover as she has avoided food, water and medicines due to demise of her sister, said Dangi. “Counseling and talk therapy are the best option for her to get rid of the pain in her heart and brain.”

Currently, 49 victims are receiving treatment at Bheri Hospital, said Chief District Officer, Banke, Shrawan Kumar Pokharel. “Of the total 53 victims admitted to the hospital, 49 are receiving treatment, and three have been discharged. The remaining victims are out of danger. They are recuperating,” he said.

HoR’s State Affairs Committee visits quake-ravaged Jajarkot

Kathmandu, Nov 8: A delegation from the State Affairs Committee, House of Representatives today left for a visit to the earthquake-stricken Jakarkot district in the Karnali Province.

The team also including Committee President Ramhari Khatiwada left Surkhet this morning for Jajarkot.  In Surkhet, the team took updates for the rescue and relief efforts in the affected areas till 8:00 am today from Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence, Purna Bahadur Khadka, according to Committee President Khatiwada.

Likewise, before leaving for Jajarkot, it had met with Karnali Government Chief, people’s representatives, security and administrative chiefs.  “We will assess the situation of rescue and relief distributions in Jajarkot,” he said from Surkhet.

 During the briefing in Surkhet, the team was apprised that the preliminary estimation of the loss is around Rs 2.45 billion. Likewise, the disaster caused partial damage to over 11,000 houses, and complete damage to more than 16,000.

Most of those houses partially damaged in the disaster are made of clay and stone, and the Committee urged the government to assess them as ‘entirely damaged’ and ensure compensation for rebuilding a disaster-resistant house, according to Khatiwada.   

During the briefing, the Committee team was told that to date, around 80 percent survivors received the relief assistance and now, the relief distribution was under way to cover the remaining affected people. Likewise, the team was apprised that the assistance materials dispatched by China were on the way to Jajarkot via Pokhara.

He was assured that the survivors in all the affected areas would get the relief assistance by today itself.  Three Nepal Army helicopters were on a standby in Surkhet to transport the materials to the affected areas.

Khatiwada urged one and all to not unnecessarily create a crowd in the affected areas in the name of observing the quake-hit areas and cause any obstructions to security personnel and rescuers who are on the ground for humanitarian assistance.

An earthquake measuring 6.4 on the Richter scale at 11:47 pm on Friday, with its epicenter in Jajarkot, resulted in over 150 casualties, over 300 injuries and significant property damage including in neighbouring Rukum West.

Earthquake survivors not getting tarp even after five days since disaster

Jajarkot, Nov 8:  Ramita Thapa of Nalgad municipality-3 grabbed her two kids and ran out of the house when the earthquake struck in the night of November 3. In the course of rushing out, she was injured in her leg. She is now living under a tarpaulin tent on the side of the road at local Nayabasti in Khalanga, the district headquarters, after her house collapsed due to the temblor.

Thapa was so traumatized that she is now troubled by hallucination as if her body and the ground is shaking all the time. She cannot venture to go beyond the open road. Her 14-year-old daughter is also traumatized after the earthquake. She cries ‘Quake! Quake!’ in her sleep. 

Most of the dwellers of the district headquarters, who are in mental trauma, are homeless and spending the day and night under tarp shed on the road side. Those people from places outside the district headquarters who had been living in rented rooms are also in problem after the houses they had been living were destroyed in the disaster.

“The tarpaulin and other relief materials are distributed in the name of the house owners and due to this the earthquake victims from places outside the district headquarters who have been living on rent are deprived of the relief materials,” lamented Milan Chadara of Thaple, Bheri Municipality-3.

He shared that when he went to the local ward office asking for a tarp, he was turned away by the officials there who said the tarps are distributed only to the house owners. He said people like him with addresses outside the district headquarters are in problem as they did not get the tarpaulin and relief materials.  Milan’s family is living in the open ground. They are exasperated at not getting relief even though begging for the same multiple times, but being turned away.

Ganesh Thapa, another person from outside the district headquarters, who, like Milan, was living on rent with his family, echoed Milan. They are both sharing the similar distress.

Ganesh said that he at last got a tarp after he approached Suresh Sunar, the Chief District Officer of Jajarkot, and related his agony.

Jhalak Malla of Thaple maintained that in the beginning the names of people like him coming from places out of the district headquarters and living in rented rooms were also collected for as eligible persons for relief, but they were not handed the relief alter on saying that their names are not included in the list of eligible persons. “This has really, really saddened us in this difficult time,” he rued. His family has not been given tarpaulin till date.

Many earthquake survivors in Barekot are living in similar plight as they have not got the relief supplies.  Prem Bohara of Barekot rural municipality-4 said that he no longer feels like going for work as the aftershocks have been rattling Jajarkot. According to him, mostly children and the older people are terrorized by the disaster. The children are mentally traumatized after their homes and schools were badly damaged. They are worried about their studies.

The 6.4 magnitude earthquake has impeded Jajarkot’s development path when the district had gradually started catching the development path.

Meanwhile, in the neighbouring district of Rukum West also people have complained of not getting the relief materials.

Extent of damage in various Palikas of Jajarkot district

Three hundred and forty-four houses are completely damaged while 712 houses are partially damaged in Bheri municipality. Similarly, two school buildings have collapsed and 17 have suffered partial damage. Five government offices have also been damaged in this municipality. Thirty-six people have been killed and 65 injured in this municipality.

In Nalgad municipality, 200 houses were completely damaged while 600 houses suffered partial damage. Similarly, 12 school buildings have been completely destroyed while 21 school buildings have suffered partial damage. Six government offices have been damaged in this municipality. Fifty-two people have died and 73 injured in the disaster.

In Chhedagada, 100 houses have been completely damaged and 500 others have suffered partial damage. Three school buildings have suffered partial damage. Two people were killed and one person injured in this municipality.

Kushe rural municipality reported 95 houses as completely damaged and 300 partially damaged. Four school buildings suffered complete damage while 17 school buildings are partially damaged. One government office has completely collapsed while 17 other offices are partially damaged. Two people were killed and one injured in the disaster in this rural municipality.

In Barekot rural municipality, police said 160 houses have been completely damaged and 560 have suffered partial damage. Five school buildings have been completely destroyed while two school buildings are partially damaged. One government office has been completely damaged while two government offices have suffered partial damage. Four persons were killed while four were injured.

Likewise in Shivalaya rural municipality, one house has been completely damaged and 37 have been partially damaged. Five school buildings have suffered partial damage. One government office has been partially destroyed. One person has been injured in the disaster in this rural municipality.

In Junichande rural municipality, 270 houses were completely damaged and 4056 houses partially damaged.

Jajarkot reported 1,170 houses completely damaged and 7,166 houses partially damaged. Twenty-three school buildings have been completely damaged and 57 school buildings partially damaged. One hundred and one persons have been killed and 152 injured in the disaster in Jajarkot district.

Over 55% of families in Bagmati Province cannot sustain from agri-income for whole year

Manahari, Nov 8: Over 55.9 percent of the families in Bagmati Province generated agricultural incomes which are not enough for them to sustain throughout the year, according to the agriculture census, 2078 carried out by the National Statistics Office. Only 44.1 percent families can sustain throughout the year from their agricultural incomes, said the census.

The main income source of people in Bagmati Province is agriculture. Traditional agricultural technologies have been replaced by new ones. According to the Office director Badri Kumar Karki, 14.8 percent farmers use iron plough to till the land, 30.8 percent tractor and 16.7 percent power-tiller.

Out of over 1.5 million families in the province, 668 thousand 177 are farmers, and 282,292 hectares of land have been used for agriculture purpose, he said.

Mango has been cultivated in 532 hectares of land, banana in 1,120 hectares, orange in 688 hectares, lemon in 460 hectares and apple in 80 hectares. Compared to the previous census in 2068 BS, the number of farmers who have reared goats and pigs has increased than those who raised cows and buffalos, he said.

The province has 66.4 percent farmers who themselves use products they grow, and 25 percent also sell their products.

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DPM Shrestha receives earthquake emergency assistance from China

Gandaki, Nov 8:  Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Narayan Kaji Shrestha today received the earthquake relief materials dispatched by the Chinese government.

Chinese Ambassador to Nepal, Chen Song, handed the emergency dispatches from the northern neighbour to the Deputy Prime Minister amidst a programme at Pokhara Regional International Airport. The relief materials include blankets, tarpaulins and so on. Two aircraft from Chengdu Airport in China landed in Pokhara Airport with the assistance.  

During the programme, the Deputy Prime Minister said China has been always with Nepal during each crisis. The Nepal-China relations based on sovereignty, independence and mutual benefits and interests, he said.

He recalled the significant support from China during the 2015 major earthquake and Covid-19 pandemic.

The ambassador said Nepal and China have a friendly relations and they have each other’s supporters during crisis, too.  He expressed his sorrow over the November 3 earthquake with its epicenter in Jarjarkot.

It may be noted that Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday, sent a message of condolence to President Ramchanda Paudel for the strong earthquake in the Karnali Province, causing heavy casualties and the property loss.

Until the filing of this report, Kaski Chief District Officer Basudev Ghimire said they were preparing to send the relief materials to the affected areas.

FNJ gears up to collect relief materials for affected media, journalists

Kathmandu, Nov 8: The Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) has decided to take initiatives for the collection of relief assistance for those media and journalists affected by the November 3 earthquake in the Karnali Province.

At a press meet here today, the umbrella organisation of journalists said it will coordinate with its foreign chapters and other organisations to gather relief assistance for media personnel from the quake-stricken Jajarkot and Rukum West. 

In meantime, the FNJ also discussed about the matters concerning the rights of working journalists at the programme. FNJ President Bipul Pokhrel said they are  working to end the issue of labour exploitation from journalism field.  He also took time to urge the Kantipur Media Group to address the rights of those journalists it relieved ‘unlawfully’ instead of labelling accusations against the FNJ for standing for the cause of journalists.

According to FNJ general secretary, Roshan Puri, buildings of two media houses were completely damaged in the disasters and various journalists including two FNJ central members have lost their houses to the disaster. 

Relief material distribution takes place through one-door policy: DPM Shrestha

Gandaki, Nov 8: Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Narayan Kaji Shrestha has said the government has adopted a one-door policy to distribute reliefs to the earthquake victims of Jajarkot and Rukum West.

In a press conference organised here today at the Pokhara International Airport after receiving relief materials provided by the Government of China, the minister said the materials would be distributed to the quake survivors through a one-door policy in coordination with the government at all three levels.

“No victim should be forced to live under the open sky. The government is working so they should not sleep on the cold floor and not be deprived of foods. All concerned authorities have been directed for ensuring the necessary arrangements,” he said.

The government has provided Rs 50 million to each of the affected districts to deal with the consequences of the disaster, he informed. Saying donations from friendly nations continue pouring in, he thanked the donors.

Stating that our country is at risk of natural disasters, the minister urged caution against the risks and possible losses wrought by them. Shortly after the tragedy, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ himself along with a team of health workers reached out to the victims on the ground and assisted in the search, rescue and relief distribution, he informed.

Chinese Ambassador to Nepal, Chen Song, handed the emergency dispatches from the northern neighbour to the Deputy Prime Minister amidst a programme at Pokhara Regional International Airport. The relief materials include blankets, tarpaulins and so on. Two aircraft from Chengdu Airport in China landed in Pokhara Airport with the assistances.

The relief materials worth Rs 280 million included 4,600 pieces blankets and 600 tarpaulins.

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FNCCI President Dhakal urges South Korea to increase investment in Nepal

Kathmandu, Nov 8: President of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI), Chandra Prasad Dhakal, has stressed on the need to promote partnership on bilateral investment between Nepal and South Korea to address a growing trade imbalance between the two nations.

In his address to the Nepal-Korea Investment Conference here today, the FNCCI President said Nepal’s exports to the Republic of Korea is meager AS compared to its imports, underlining the need of more Korean investment in Nepal.

He advised that Nepal-South Korea partnership could be enhanced in energy, tourism, agricultural processing business, and IN information and communications sector.  These areas remain as a backbone of Nepali economy, according to him.

Stating that there are presently above 350 Korea-funded enterprises in Nepal, he said, Nepal has already proved to be an appropriate investment destination for South Korea.  

The FNCCI president viewed that Nepal could reap benefit through the utilization of its natural resources and human resources by bringing in modern technology from Korea. He said Korea would also benefit from increasing its investment in Nepal as it will facilitate expansion of Korea’s trade in the whole of South Asia.

Dhakal argued that Nepal’s partnership with Korea will be important as it would help Nepal diversify its economy as a developing country. Stating that some of the Nepali banks were waiting for Korea’s approval to operate their branches there, he urged finalizing the approval process at the earliest as formal and accessible banking transaction would contribute to expansion of trade and investment.

The FNCCI president urged Korean investors to invest in Nepal, saying that there were opportunities for joint investment in the technical and vocational education in Nepal as many Nepali were working in Korea.

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