Lawmakers find lack of coordination in aid effort

- KAMAL DEV BHATTARAI, Kathmandu
Lawmakers find lack of coordination in aid effort

May 21, 2015-

The lack of coordination between the government agencies and political parties, and among the state bodies, has affected rescue, relief and recovery works in the 14 districts worst hit by the earthquakes.

Parliamentary teams deployed in the districts brought the situation to the fore, terming it the main roadblock for a speedy relief and recovery process.

The mess has created obstacles to reopening schools, making temporary arrangements for resumption of health services and transportation of medicines to rural areas.

“The Chief District Officer and those in charge of security agencies and government offices are also not working in tandem, delaying urgent tasks,” said Agni Sapkota, UCPN (Maoist) lawmaker who returned from Sindhupalchok.

Lawmakers from the district have already drawn the attention of Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Bam Dev Gautam about the mismanagement.

According to members of parliament, relief packages distributed by private individuals and non-government organisations have reached only the places accessible by roads. People there have got aid up to three times while those in remote villages have not received any.

Early availability of zinc sheets is the major concern for the people who have been rendered homeless. Though NGOs have taken the roofing material to some villages, the government-announced Rs15,000 package for building temporary shelter is yet to reach the victims.

Fear of landslides in Gorkha, the epicentre of the quake, is another worry. Local people want assurance that their village will not be affected by landslides in the rainy monsoon.

The government has already dispatched teams to study landslide vulnerability for relocating threatened settlements to safe places.  

Lawmakers point to the lack of preparations for reopening schools in the quake-hit districts. Though the government has announced to resume schools by the first week of June, there is no headway in building temporary learning centres where school buildings have been destroyed, said lawmaker Lokmani Dhakal, who has studied the situation in Kavre district.

The 14 teams are scheduled to submit their reports on Friday to the Special Committee formed to monitor relief, rescue and recovery measures.

MPs’ observation of ravaged districts

-    All-party mechanisms yet to be formed

-    Confusion over the role of local leaders

-    No arrangements for reopening schools

-    Relief reaches only accessible areas

-    Landslides major worry for quake-hit people

Published: 22-05-2015 07:57

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