Slums bulldozed in Kathmandu
Posted by Katrina and Martin Butterworth at 14:12 on 11th May 2012
Earlier this week bulldozers moved in to flatten the slum housing that has grown up near the Bagmati river in Kathmandu.
We have been sending our medical students to these urban slums as part of their field experience work, and Martin cycles past them every day on the way to work, so they were a very familiar part of our landscape.
He took this photo a few hours after the bulldozers left.
For the people living in these places it has of course been devastating – they have lost their home and many of them have nowhere else to go.
The reaction amongst my Nepali colleagues has been interesting. Some people have been very sympathetic towards the slum dwellers.
We’ve had some extremely heavy rain the last few days, so it must have been extra miserable for them.
Others have been much more cynical. Apparently some of the people living in the slum actually have quite good houses elsewhere, but chose to come to Kathmandu looking for opportunity and this was a place where they could get land for free.
They have built solid brick and stone houses and the perception was that they were just trying to get a prime piece of land by “default of occupancy” in a city where land prices are ridiculously high.
These people are expected just to go back to their original homes.
Katrina Butterworth, BMS mission worker in Nepal