Guthi land dwellers could miss out on aid

  • house reconstruction programme
- Post Report, Kathmandu
The National Reconstruction Authority has announced to distribute house reconstruction aid to only those quake survivors who have land deeds

Jun 18, 2016-The survivors of last year’s earthquake who have been living on land owned by Guthi (religious trust) for generations could be left out from the reconstruction aid programme since the National Reconstruction Authority (NEA) does not have a provision of providing aid to those people who do not have land deeds. 

According to a data provided by the Ministry of Land Reform and Management 22,249 hectares of land in the 14 earthquake-affected districts belong to Guthi, and people living on the land may not be eligible for reconstruction aid. 

“Most of the Guthi land inhabitants are economically marginalised people who will not be able to rebuild their houses without financial support from the government,” said Prabin Man Singh, policy and research coordinator of Oxfam, an international organisation that has been working to address global poverty.

The organisation fears that many people from socially and economically marginalised groups could miss out on grants to rebuild homes if their situation is not considered.

“The reconstruction authority should come up with a way to identify such earthquake survivors,” said Singh. 

Besides the earthquake survivors living on Guthi land, there are also those who lost their land ownership documents in the disaster. 

The government has announced to distribute the reconstruction aid in three instalments to those people who comes up with land deeds. 

Bishnu Bhandari, the NRA member, assured that the authority will find a way to ensure that no legitimate earthquake survivors are left out from the aid programme. 

“The requisite to produce land ownership certificate is a good way to ensure that a person is a legitimate victim. But rest assured, we will try to narrow the gap between various social groups and marginalised communities,” said Bhandari.

Published: 18-06-2016 09:16

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