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Rain And Blocked Roads Hinder Nepal Flood Relief

Nepalese flood victim Jarina Salmani (R) poses in the ruins of her home in Nepalgunj, some 350 kilometres southwest of Kathmandu, 06 August 2007, after it was destroyed by recent monsoon floods. Salmani and her family returned to their house after being displaced for 10 days.Torrential monsoon rains triggered flooding and landslides that have killed at least 93 people and affected around 270,000 in Nepal. Photo courtesy AFP.
by Staff Writers
Kathmandu (AFP) Aug 07, 2007
More rain and blocked roads have delayed efforts to help 300,000 people in southern Nepal hit by major flooding, amid fears of a rise in water-borne illnesses, officials said Tuesday. "We are concerned about water-borne diseases like diarrhea, dysentery and typhoid," Arjun Bahadur Singh, Nepal's health ministry spokesman, told AFP. "There is no shortage of medicine. However, accessibility is a problem: highways are blocked, there is no transportation and it is very hard for our medical response teams to get to some of the worst affected areas," he said.

Flooding and landslides have killed at least 93 people, mainly in the country's lowland south bordering India. Floodwater fed by monsoon rains and Himalayan snow melt displaced or marooned some 300,000 people.

The kingdom's home ministry said that continued rainfall was hindering relief efforts by the army, police and local and international aid agencies.

"There are still some areas receiving sporadic rainfall, and this is causing problems for our relief work," home ministry official Thir Bahadur G.C. told AFP.

Flooding has hit 33 of Nepal's 75 districts. Officials in the Himalayan kingdom have said dams built in India exacerbated the problem.

India in turn blames Nepal for its failure to control huge water flow from its rivers, which has inundated the northern states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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Indian Boat Owners Exploit Floods To Make Money
Madhubani, India (AFP) Aug 07, 2007
Yamuna Devi and her children clung to a tree, waving desperately at a passing boat to rescue them. It paddled off as she had no money to pay for a ride to safety in India's flooded Bihar state. "Pay or perish," the boatman screamed, mumbling obscenities as she numbly stared at the retreating vessel filled with people who had paid 40 rupees (one dollar) each for a ride in the state's cut-off Madhubani district.

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