Barpak takes matters into own hands

  • Post-quake rebuilding

Dec 3, 2015-The earthquake victims of Barpak village in Gorkha, the epicentre of the April 25 earthquake, have started building houses on their own as the government has not initiated the reconstruction works more than seven months after the disaster.

Locals say they cannot wait for the government’s help any longer. Winter has already started, and they want to complete the construction of their houses before it gets colder.

“We waited for more than seven months already. At this point we are not even sure if the help will ever arrive,” says Ram Gurung.

Thousands of earthquake victims are facing hardship as the formation of the National Reconstruction Authority, the body authorised to oversee the post-earthquake reconstruction and its budget mobilisation, is in limbo. The government has failed to bring a replacement bill to renew the authority’s legal mandate. The earthquake victims are getting increasingly frustrated by the delay. The government had announced Rs 200,000 cash relief and Rs 1.5 million subsidised loan for the people who had lost their homes in the earthquake. With no signs of government help coming any time soon, most families in Barpak are building their houses on their own. Many are using the stones and wood from their old houses for rebuilding.

Local Development Officer Premraj Giri says the earthquake victims could easily get the building designs from the District Development Committee and Building Division Office. The Barpak villagers, however, say that their priority right now is to have a house, so they don’t freeze to death. They also need a proper place to store their harvest and to keep their cattle. Sanu Ghale and her family members are busy building their house these days. Her family had to wait for monsoon to pass to build the stone and mud house.

“If we don’t build now we will still be living in that temporary hut next winter,” she says.

Published: 03-12-2015 08:20

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