The heavy monsoon rains continue across Nepal with over 102 people killed, 22 reported missing and 58 injured as a result of flooding and/or landslides in the past 5 days. Part of the Araniko Highway further east of me in Banepa, was shut down for two days due to landslides.
In addition to the displacement of people from their homes, there is also a big fear of an epidemic of water-borne diseases including typhoid, dysentery, cholera etc. Don’t worry, I am vaccinated but many are not, I know of at least one recent typhoid case.
In political news, poor President Bidya Devi Bhandari must be shaking her head– the deadline given to the parties to form a consensus government expired on Sunday without any result. It’s because the 2nd largest party CPN-UML decided to sit in opposition.
As a consensus could not be reached with one large party not at the table, Her Excellency had no other choice but to instruct commencement of the process to elect a new Prime Minister on majority basis (as opposed to a consensus).
That vote is due to take place tomorrow. We shall see ……
Balancing out with a bit of positive news … for the first time in Nepal’s history there are three women on the Supreme Court including Sapana Pradhan Malla, a strong advocate for social justice including women’s rights. Ms Malla was one of 11 new Supreme Court Justices voted in yesterday.
She is a very popular appointment amongst Nepal’s youth and social activists. Let’s hope she is allowed to make a difference.
And continuing the rituals during the month of Shrawan, the holy ritual of Bol Bom was observed yesterday. During Bol Bom, many pilgrims bring water from Sundarijal located 15km NE of Kathmandu, and walk barefoot in saffron robes, offering it to Lord Shiva at Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu. It is believed that participating in Bol Bom grants the wishes of the devotees.
No sign of any Bol Bom holy rituals in Banepa yesterday as far as I could see!
Btw, I was in Kathmandu Friday to Sunday for a variety of appointments and my feet did not look far off the grimy feet in this photo, after tramping to government offices in the monsoon rains! I had to scrub the bejaysus out of my sandals last night!