Chandrika Rai, a landless squatter who lives on the banks of the Bagmati is angry at the government for tearing down houses at the UN park just before monsoon. Her makeshift hut is swamped with water after the roof gave in. All the children's books are damaged and her family can no longer use the bed and blankets. "My children have nowhere to sleep and we are spending our nights under an umbrella inside our rooms," says Rai who works as a labourer in Kathmandu.
After the government cleared illegal settlements along the Bagmati in May, Prime Minister Bhattarai had promised alternative housing for the settlers. Apart from a few foreign NGOs who distribute supplies from time to time, the state has neither provided any compensation or accommodation for the setttlers. "Bhattarai made grand speeches, but has failed to deliver on his promises. How will our children go to school with spoiled books and wet uniforms?" fumes Phulmaya Pariyar, another squatter.