Timber crisis affecting housing reconstruction


Oct 23, 2016-

Earthquake survivors in Ramechhap district are facing a hard time rebuilding their houses due to shortage of timber. 

Tara Bahadur Bishwokarma of Rampur, who lost his house to the earthquake last year, said there is an acute crunch of sal (Shorea robusta) wood, a hardwood timber used for construction, in his village. 

“Locally available wood is not good for constructing houses, as it decays fast,” said Bishwokarma, wondering whether earthquake survivors have to manage timber on their own or the government is going to help. 

According to the District Forest Office (DFO), sal wood has to be imported from other district as the timber is not available in the district. 

“We need around 650,000 cubic feet of wood to reconstruct houses. It’s not possible to manage wood from community forests here,” said District Forest Officer Hari Pratap Shrestha.

The DFO said it working to import wood from other districts. “We can import sal wood from Sindhuli but for that the Department of Forests needs to take a decision to this effect first,” said Shrestha. 

Last year’s devastating quake had destroyed around 45,000 houses in the district. 

Amar Bahadur Thapa, chief of the Urban Development and Building Division Office, said 43,000 families have been identified as those who are entitled to the housing reconstruction aid. Those who have already received the first tranche of the housing aid have started reconstructing their houses, but they are at their wit’s end in the wake of shortage of wood. A report released by the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) earlier this month also had pointed at the shortage of construction materials including timber. 

According to the NRA, the demand of timber stands at 4.54 million cubic metres while the supply stood at 2.56 million cubic metres.

DFO distributes wood in Tanahun villages

TANAHUN: The District Forest Office (DFO) has started distributing wood for quake victims in subsidy to construct their houses in the district. The DFO in coordination with the Community Forest User Groups in the first phase has provided 6,137 cubic feet of wood. District Forest Officer Indra Adhikari said the DFO distributed wood as per the recommendation of the local reconstruction committee in district. Those households who houses were completely destroyed by last year’s earthquake were provided with the wood to reconstruct houses. Around 16,000 houses were destroyed by the quake in the district. (PR)

Published: 23-10-2016 08:33

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