Nepalese union demands compensation for workers killed in landslide

The BWI-affiliated Construction and Allied Workers Union of Nepal (CAWUN) has called on authorities to provide compensation to eight workers who were killed in a landslide in the Sindhupalchowk District on 3 August. 

Seven of those killed were Nepalese, while one was of Indian descent. They were killed when a mass of soil and rocks fell on a still unfinished covered hall and their quarters at Gaurabnagar, Ward 11, Melamchi Municipality.

Another Indian worker was reportedly rescued, airlifted and sent for treatment to Kathmandu City. Witnesses said that prior to the accident, there was heavy rainfall in the area on the night of 2 August.  

As a result of CAWUN’s talks with local authorities, the construction contractor has committed to pay the amount of NPR 200,000 NPR (USD 1,671) as compensation to each of the family of the victims. On top of this, an established local artist donated NPR 20,000 (USD 167) to each of the victims’ families. The union has also petitioned the Provincial Representative for additional relief to the families of the workers who died in the calamity. 

CAWUN said that rainfall-induced landslides in Nepal are a common occurrence and often, workers, especially those engaged in construction projects near landslide-prone areas are the usual victims. In the Sindhupalchowk district alone, the District Disaster Management Committee reported that 300 families have been displaced due to 24 cases of landslides reported in the last few days.

“The union is in touch with the contractors, workers’ families and local government, and is in the process of submitting representation to the Provincial Government to seek additional compensation for those who were killed and injured in the calamity. We strongly reiterate our demand to put in place adequate safeguards at construction sites and workers’ living areas to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future,” CAWUN President J.B. Gurung said.