Slaughterhouse stench makes life unbearable in Latikoil
PIPIRA (SURKHET), Aug 15: Asiran Bibi, who lives in a settlement of landless squatters off Belghari khola in Latikoili VDC-9 of Surkhet district, has not eaten well for the last six months.
Whenever she sits down to eat food, an overpowering stench wafting from a nearby go-down, where bones, horns, skins of slaughtered buffaloes have been piled up, nearly forces Asiran to vomit.
“The stench easily wafts into my house,” says the 35-year-old. “I can´t get rid of it even while sleeping under the quilt.”
Like Asiran, the lives of people living in Latikoili VDC-1 and 9, which are mostly inhabited by landless squatters, have become a hell ever since a nearby slaughter house was turned into a go-down to store the rotten parts of the slaughtered buffaloes some six months ago. “At times, even passersby vomit,” says says Amina Bibi, 27. “But, we´re cursed to endure this terribly nauseating stench.”
When it is raining or the wind is blowing, the stench becomes even more unbearable. Rubina Bibi, 15, who lives in the same settlement, prefers to stay away from her house in the day. When she returns home in the night, she keeps her nostrils covered with a handkerchief. “It´s very difficult to avoid the stench,” says Rubina.
The locals of Latikoili VDC have urged the VDC office, the district veterinary office and the administration to relocate the slaughterhouse somewhere else. However, they say their complaints have so far fallen on deaf ears. “Let alone piling up the rotten body parts, the meat traders can´t even build the slaughterhouse close to the human settlement,” says Mulla Baksha, a local resident. “However, no one has ever paid attention to our plight.”
Shyam Nepali, president of Meat Traders´ Association, Surkhet, acknowledges the fact that the stench from the slaughterhouse has created problems. But, he says they have no alternative. “If we shut down this slaughterhouse, our business will go down,” says Nepali.
“We have unwittingly troubled the locals.” Chief District Officer (CDO) of Surkhet Purushottam Kunwar says he has already instructed the local police to remove the stinking slaughterhouse from the vicinity of the human settlement. However, the police are yet to swing into action. “If our order is not followed, we´ll take other steps,” says Kunwar.