Homes for earthquake victims unlikely before monsoon: NRA

- Post Report, Kathmandu
The delay in staff recruitment at the NRA and reassessment to finalise genuine earthquake victims are major reasonsSushil gyewaliceo, national ReconstructionAuthority

Mar 8, 2016-The National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) has said that the reconstruction of earthquake-ravaged houses would not be completed before monsoon.

Stating that post-earthquake reconstruction is a time taking process, authority’s Chief Executive Sushil Gyewali on Monday said: “It may sound unpleasant but the reality is that it is not possible to complete reconstruction of houses before monsoon.”

His remarks come at a time when quake victims are desperately waiting for a government nod to rebuild their homes in context of frequent change in authority’s timeline. The earthquake on April 25, 2015 and its aftershocks destroyed more than 400,000 houses. The affected families spent last monsoon and chilly winter under flimsy tents. 

Releasing a report “Nepal Earthquake 2015: Building Resilience, Rebuilding Lives” prepared by Humanitarian Accountability Monitoring Initiatives (HAMI), Gyewali said the delay in staff recruitment at the NRA and reassessment to finalise “genuine” earthquake victims were major reasons. The NRA chief stressed on the need to build temporary shelters to keep people safe in monsoon. 

Gyewali also proposed an early local polls for timely and effective post-earthquake reconstruction. “Let’s hold local polls at least in quake-affected districts. It will help us speed up reconstruction works and maintain transparency at local level,” he said.

Almost 11 months have elapsed since the devastating quake destroyed tens of thousands of houses in 14 districts, but the housing reconstruction has not yet begun. The authority has asked people not to rebuild the destroyed houses until they get state announced aid and technical support aimed at building quake-resilient buildings.

The report, prepared after a survey of all 14 quake-affected districts, has warned that frustration among the quake victims is growing each passing day. There is a poor coordination between the government and local communities, it says, while also pointing out the lack of representation from underprivileged and marginalised communities in many structures formed to provide relief to the disaster victims. “Housing reconstruction must start without further delay. It is not possible for people to remain in temporary shelter for an extended period of time,” the report reads, warning of health risk to the quake victims.





Published: 08-03-2016 09:04

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