By Bishnu Prasad Pokhrel, Damak, July 28: Riverside settlements in Jhapa district have begun putting up bamboo fences in a process known as piling to stop the swollen rivers from eroding the soil. The residents adopted this simple but effective method of controlling the rivers after they started overflowing and flooding the nearby towns and villages.
Every year, the Ratuwa, Kamal and other rivers break their banks and cause damages worth millions of rupees in Damak Municipality, Gauradaha Municipality and Kamal Rural Municipality. Every year, the locals pile bamboos as a temporary means of keeping the water at bay. It costs up to Rs. 450,000 to pile bamboos in an area of 100 metres.
However, the bamboos can only hold back a certain amount of water and get washed away if the rivers flood excessively. That does not make piling a suitable method for long-term flood control.
The people know this but still choose to rely on bamboo piling because building more sustainable means of flood control requires support from the government which, they complain, they do not receive.
Bhim Poudyal, chairman of Damak Ward No. 7, told The Rising Nepal that while they prioritised the construction of permanent dams, they also erected bamboo fences to prevent floods and erosion.
Toyanath Prasai, chairman of Gauradaha Ward No. 6, said that while bamboos provided temporary relief, they did not hold back big floods.
He also called on higher authorities to help build permanent dams or embankments to prevent the rivers in the area from inundating the areas of Teliyadangi, Tanguwa, Chapramari and Damuna, among others.
Hukum Singh Rai, chairman of Kamal Rural Municipality, also made the same request to the provincial and federal governments to save life and property of the people of his local level.