Kathmandu, April 27: Hundreds of Nepalese who have moved out of their houses following the Saturday earthquake staged a noisy protest here on Monday demanding food and drinking water. The sudden demonstration took police by surprise at the Constituent Assembly building where hundreds of men, women and children took shelter following the 7.9 magnitude devastation in Nepal. Even as the protest continued, some women cooked noodles for their children in the open. “Shops are shut. This is the last food item I have. We are suffering due to lack of food and clean drinking water,” Rama Sharma, a woman, told IANS at the site. Others complained about shortage of tents.
Another protester was Manoj Thapa from Pokhara who was in Kathmandu for medical treatment when the Saturday disaster struck killing more than 3,200 people and injuring thousands. Thapa has now been forced to live in the camp.
“No one has come to ask about what relief material we need,” complained Dha Shrestha, who owns a big building in the heart of Kathmandu but who too is living in a tent over the past two days.
“We have heard that so much foreign aid is pouring in,” a visibly angry Shrestha said. “If the government cannot provide the materials, why it is called a government?”
The story of the Constituent Assembly premises is no different from many other makeshift relief centres accommodating the hundreds of thousands who have taken shelter because of continuing aftershocks. People are running community kitchen in open spaces. Many are arranging for foodstuffs, relief materials and other essential materials by their own efforts.
On Monday, Nepal’s Cabinet Secretary Leela Mani Poudyal said: “We have been dealing with fresh challenges as our capacity has not been able to meet the overwhelming demand.” Poudyal said the first phase of assistance had arrived from 11 countries. But the government was still short of tents, blankets, medicines and clean drinking water. He admitted that a proper magement of the bodies “will be big challenge in the coming days”. (IANS)