NRA to allow NGOs in rebuilding homes

  • Extra rules for mobilisation via one door
  • 3-side deal for reconstruction
- Bhadra Sharma, Kathmandu

Apr 11, 2016-

Nearly a year after devastation by the Gorkha earthquake, the National Reconstruction Authority is set to engage non-government organisations in rebuilding houses. The NRA had temporarily barred the NGOs from helping families reconstruct their homes.

The authority’s Directive Committee on Sunday endorsed guidelines related to the mobilisation of NGOs, reversing the past decision. Officials, however, said NGOs’ work would be thoroughly monitored. A separate guideline has been floated to manage the NGOs, said NRA Spokesperson Ram Thapaliya. They would be involved in post-quake reconstruction following its endorsement.

As per the rules, trilateral agreement will be signed between the authority, NGOs and quake-hit households, which is overseen by the local bodies. “This will check possible overlapping of an NGO’s works while all the beneficiaries get the facilities equally,” said Thapaliya.

The guidelines were introduced after consulting with the stakeholders. “This ensures NGOs’ mobilisation through a one-door system. It means all the NGOs will get a chance to work under the authority’s supervision,” said the spokesperson.

In the last week of February, the reconstruction body had temporarily banned NGOs from reconstruction citing the need for the guidelines. It had subsequently tried to siphon the money being channelised through NGOs off to its treasury. The NRA, however, agreed to involve NGOs in reconstruction following their resistance.

NGOs were also asked not to distribute any reconstruction aid to the displaced households. Dismayed at the government’s apathy for their plight, earthquake survivors have started rebuilding houses on their own in some districts. Sharmila Karki, former president of the National Non-Governmental Organisation, said the decision is welcome. “It would have been great if the decision was taken on time,” said Karki, who is also a member of the Central Advisory Council under the NRA.

Over 50,000 NGOs are registered with the Social Welfare Council and the local administration. Only 10,000 are active, according to NGO Federation senior Vice-president Krishna Gautam.

Karki estimates that the organisations can construct 8,000 to 10,000 houses with help from INGOs. “NGOs are more interested in reconstructing community buildings and schools instead of private houses,” said Karki.

Meanwhile, the NRA has also decided to ease the housing aid distribution procedure after complications arose with some needy lacking citizenship and land revenue certificates. The authority has decided to instruct the authorities to prepare the required documents if they are missing and reconsider the rules if a case is complex.

The reconstruction body faces stiff criticism as thousands of families have endured adverse weather for a year and homes are unlikely to be built before the rains, owing to delays in aid disbursement. Although the government has announced to provide Rs200,000 to each homeless family besides subsidised loans, there has been little progress in delivering the assistance.

International donors have pledged $4.4billion for rebuilding the nation while the government has allocated Rs74 billion this fiscal year for reconstruction activities.

Published: 11-04-2016 07:33

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