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Approaching winter concerns quake victims

The condition of earthquake-displaced people in Sindhupalchok this winter will be no better than last year as they are still living in temporary hutments that provide little insulation against cold temperature.
The night temperature has already started to plummet in the upper region of Sindhupalchok, causing hardship for the quake survivors living in places like Khorsanibari, Banskharka, Bhedichaur and Phatakshila Bhanjyang.
The cold weather has mostly affected children, elderly persons and post-partum mothers who are susceptible to cold-related diseases. Karma Bahadur Thapa, a quake survivor from Banskharka, said he has no idea how long his family will have to live in such condition.
“We have already spent 18 months in a temporary hut. It gets cold at night, even if you are indoors,” he said. 
Around 200 families are living in Banskharka camp. They were moved to the camp from places like Gati, Liping, Listikot, Phulpingkatti, Jure, Selang, Syaule, Golche, Gumba, Batase and Tekanpurphant. Shail Silwal, another quake survivor, said many people from the camp have started migrating to other places to escape cold.
“They will return once the winter has ended,” he said. Cold weather is also affecting the quake-hit families in the mountainous areas of the district, including  Gunsa, Baruwa, Bhotenamlang, Bhotang, Golche, Gumba and Helambu.
Local Development Officer Krishna Bahadur Shahi said the Department of Mines and Geology will soon start collecting details to provide land plots to quake-displaced families to build houses. Around 700 quake-displaced families have submitted memorandum to the local administration for relocation. However, the Ministry of Urban Development has said that it does not have the data of earthquake-displaced families of Sindhupalchok.
More than 72,289 quake-affected families had received the first installment of the aid as of last month. The National Reconstruction Authority has signed the housing aid agreements with 74,857 families in the district.
By: Anish Tiwari 
Published: The Kathmandu Post 16-11-2016

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