Govt plans needs assessment for rebuilding works

- PRITHVI MAN SHRESTHA, Kathmandu

May 7, 2015-

The government, in conjunction with its development partners,is planning to conduct needs assessment to ascertain the amount of resources required for reconstruction and rehabilitation works in the wake of the devastating earthquake that rattled the country on April 25.

The quake left widespread destruction in its wake, killing more than 7,800 people so far, injuring another 14,000.

The government aims to gather necessary data on damage and reconstruction costs ahead of a donor conference to garner international support for rebuilding works.

The Finance Ministry said that it will be holding a meeting with Kathmandu-based donor agencies next week to come up with methods for conducting the needs assessment. “We aim to involve donors in the process to avail the expertise needed for the assessment. This will also facilitate in generating the resources required,” said Madhu Marasini, joint secretary at the Finance Ministry.

According to ministry officials, a donor conference will be held in two months. Japan had proposed a donor conference to raise funds for Nepal at the recently concluded annual general meeting of the Asian Development Bank.

The government has been reaching out to the donor community in because the picture of destruction emerging from around the country is a dismal one.

“The quake has caused a massive damage to Nepal. We need huge assistance from our development partners for the reconstruction,” Mahat told a meeting at the Finance Ministry on Thursday. He thanked donors for their prompt response in providing immediate relief and rescue operations after the quake.

The government had requested donors for immediate support at a meeting it convened on April 26, a day after the devastating earthquake rattled the country.

“We want to sit with you [donor agencies] and discuss the details about the reconstruction work,” said Mahat during Thursday’s meeting.

Mahat revealed that the government was mulling over a powerful reconstruction body for speedy reconstruction. It will work on three components: rebuilding public houses, reconstruction of government buildings and restoration of heritage sites.

Welcoming the idea of instituting a powerful body in the meeting, World Bank Country Director for Nepal Johannes Zutt said the bank was ready to extend support to Nepal.

“The World Bank has asked us to reallocate its assistance following the quake,” said Finance Secretary Suman Sharma.

The ADB has pledged approximately Rs 20 billion for the reconstruction works. The ADB funds will be mobilised in new reconstruction projects to be undertaken by the government, according to the ministry officials.

The government has already announced that it will set up National Reconstruction Fund to rebuild the damaged infrastructure, earmarking Rs 20 billion for the fund which aims to collect Rs 200 billion in total.

 

Inspection teams to reach 500 VDCs

KATHMANDU: The government has decided to dispatch five-member teams to each of the 500 Village Development Committees in 13 quake-affected districts to assess the loss of property there.

As decided by the Cabinet on Thursday, the team led by an under-secretary comprises section officer, non-gazetted first class official, school head master and a technician.

The meeting also approved the work procedure for the team that will collect information on the loss of lives and properties, damaged structures, infrastructure, relief distribution and reconstruction.

“The VDC secretary will assist the team,” said Minister for General Administration Lal Babu Pandit. “They will receive 100 percent daily allowances due to the special situation.”

Free tickets to bereaved migrant workers

The meeting also decided to provide free air tickets to migrant workers who have lost their kin if they want to return home. Those who have completed the job will get one-way ticket while those still working will get two-way fares, according to Minister for Information and Communications Minendra Rijal.

Foreign Minister Mahendra Bahadur Pandey has been entrusted the responsibility to bid farewell to foreign search and rescue teams. Some rescue members have already returned home.

The meeting assigned the National Planning Commission to monitor relief distribution across the country. (PR)

 

Published: 08-05-2015 09:12

User's Feedback

Click here for your comments

Comment via Facebook

Don't have facebook account? Use this form to comment