General

Rs 666.3b needed for post-quake rebuilding

- PRITHVI MAN SHRESTHA, KATHMANDU
Rs 666.3b needed for post-quake rebuilding

Jun 13, 2015-

Nepal has faced cumulative losses worth Rs700 billion ($7 billion) due to the April 25 earthquake and its aftershocks, a post disaster needs assessment (PDNA) report reveals.

The report finalised by a full meeting of the National Planning Commission (NPC) chaired by Prime Minister Sushil Koirala on Friday stated that the earthquakes caused damage worth Rs513.38 billion ($5.13b) to property in various sectors. The economic losses are estimated at Rs187.08 billion. The loss means the impact on the economy due to the slowdown in economic activities in the aftermath of the earthquake.

“This is the most credible document on the damage caused by the earthquake. The needs assessment comes under the leadership of the government and in participation of donors and experts,” said Govinda Raj Pokharel, vice-chairman of the NPC which led the PDNA process. “More importantly, this is a document acceptable to all the parties.”

However, Nepal will need a little less in resources than total losses for the post-quake rebuilding process. According to the report, Rs666.3 billion ($6.66b) will be required in the rebuilding and new building process. NPC member Prem Dangal said needs in some areas will not be equivalent to the total loss because economic losses in some areas cannot be recovered through investment equivalent to loss.

“For example, there has been a total loss of Rs81.24 billion in the tourism sector. We cannot bring back the tourists who left the country so the needs in the sector cannot be the same as the losses,” he added.

Some sectors such as industry and commerce also have portions of personal losses which are expected to be borne by individuals. These are also not included in the needs assessment, according to Dangal.

The government aims to seek assistance from donors based on this document at the International Donors’ Conference scheduled for June 25.

At Rs350.37 billion, housing and human settlement faced the highest amount of losses, which is almost half the total losses caused by the quake.

According to the Home Ministry, the jolts destroyed 510,762 private homes and damaged 291,707 homes partially. Rebuilding of the damages houses and resettlement will require a total of Rs327.76 billion.

The cost of total damage to houses totals Rs303.63 billion. As people could not benefit from the use of houses, economic loss from that was calculated at Rs46.74 billion.

But despite facing relatively less destruction of infrastructure, economic losses in the tourism sector are the highest. While infrastructure damage to the sector stood at Rs18.86 billion, economic losses to tourism are Rs62.37 billion. NPC Vice-chairman Pokharel said the country’s tourism sector suffered due to the outflow of available tourists and the cancellation of hotel bookings.

Published: 13-06-2015 08:24

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