MUGU, Nepal - People displaced by a major fire in Gamgadhi in November last year have been trapped under flimsy tents in the Mugu district's freezing winter.
The hills around Gamgadhi, the district headquarters located at an altitude of roughly 2000 meters, are covered with snow after a significant snowfall last week. The tent occupants spend the night in the cold, dropping to roughly minus 4 degrees Celsius.
On November 15, a fire in Gamgadhi's lower market destroyed twenty-one buildings. The homeless are now taking refuge under tarpaulins in an open area. "We don't have any winter clothes or anything to keep us warm," Jhova Tamang, an affectee, said, adding that the victims had gotten no government assistance.
Although some organizations have provided food aid to those in need, the government has yet to assist. A delegation led by Karnali Chief Minister Jeevan Bahadur Sahi visited the community four days after the fire and guaranteed the fire victims assistance to repair their homes.
"We have been awaiting relief from the provincial government for two months now, to no avail. We had the hope that the government would give us some relief, but they haven't even dispatched rice to us," another affectee, Chhiring Tamang, said.
On the other hand, the local authority claims to have begun the process of distributing relief supplies. "The money given by the provincial government will be placed in the bank accounts of the recipients based on the damage sustained," stated Chief District Officer Rom Bahadur Mahat.