Rebuilding of earthquake-hit schools in limbo

- Harihar Singh Rathour, DHADING

Jan 10, 2017-

A majority of the earthquake-hit schools in Dhading are still running their classes from under tents and huts because of the delay in reconstruction of school buildings.

Around 4,000 classrooms in the district were destroyed by the 2015 earthquake and its aftershocks. The record at the District Education Office shows that only 192 classrooms of 96 schools have been built so far.

Although several NGOs, INGOs and donor agencies had pledged to rebuild the infrastructure of the destroyed schools, very few have delivered on the promise while most of them have not even got started. 

Umesh Dhakal, a community school headmaster, said it has been 20 months since the disaster but the condition of most quake-hit schools remains the same, as it was when they resumed their classes from temporary classrooms.

The reconstruction works of school buildings are moving at a snail’s pace, 

he added.

The government has formed Project Implementation Unit to monitor reconstruction works of school buildings in 14 districts that were severely affected by the earthquake.

Ishwori Gyawali, the Dhading chief of the unit, said when they carried out a monitoring in the district recently they found that most of the NGOs and INGOs that were supposed to rebuild school buildings had not even started the construction. 

Some of the organisations, Gyawali said, had gone out of contact and some had gone past contract date without even laying a brick.   

He added even the Indian Embassy funded project to build 10 school buildings in Darkha, Kumpur, Dhola and Chainpur VDCs has not started yet.

Meanwhile, the school rebuilding project under the government funding is also not faring well.

Most of the schools buildings that were supposed to be built with the government funding are yet to be completed.

Local Development Officer Bhagwan Aryal said the slowdown in construction of school buildings was caused as a result of Ministry of Finance not issuing the budget in time.

Winter affects quake-hit people in Palpa 

PALPA: The situation of earthquake-displaced families in Palpa district is getting worse because of cold. A majority of senior citizens, children and postpartum mothers living in temporary shelters are suffering from cold-related diseases. Two earthquake-displaced men, ages 65 and 80, allegedly died of cold-related diseases two weeks ago. According to the District Disaster Management Committee, 11,345 households in Palpa were affected by the earthquake of 2015.  

Published: 10-01-2017 07:36

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