The day of the evictions
An announcement about the eviction was made in the community on 7th May in the late evening. Due to how late this information was received, many in the community didn’t have any immediate options for alternative shelter and didn’t have a chance to move from the site.
Early in the morning on 8th May, the community was sealed by the police and prepared for demolition. No one was allowed to enter the community. The newspapers reported that about 3,000 police were mobilised for the demolition.
Later, four bulldozers appeared and started bulldozing the huts. People protested and about 40 people, including women and children, were arrested and taken to police custody.
The first few houses which were bulldozed had no chance to remove their belongings, so they lost everything. The public watched this horrible scene from the bridge and from across the river.
By 11.30 am, it was all over. The community was flattened and the bulldozers left. People were allowed back inside the community in the afternoon, and were shocked. People, including children, were busy collecting their buried belongings and piling them up.
Some families moved to friends’ and relatives’ homes; many more remained in the evicted site as they just did not have a place to go, instead making temporary shelters from plastic sheets salvaged from the site - each morning the shelters have to be dismantled as requested by police.
It is not just homes that have been destroyed: a local school was also demolished, leaving children out of education and with no alternative until it is clear where they will live permanently.
In the days and weeks following the evictions, various NGOs, including Lumanti, have been involved in relief efforts, providing food, water and shelter for the evicted families.
Given the complexities around the situation, it is clear that there is still much to be done before a long-term solution is found for the families, and news of further political turmoil in Nepal this week, after politicians failed to agree a new constitution, has left families even more uncertain about their futures.
For now, Lumanti is working with other organisations in the area and is receiving support from the former Mayor (now Head of Kathmandu Valley Development Authority), who is helping with plans to find both temporary and permanent accommodation for families.
Further updates will be posted on our website as we receive them.