Nepal quake: Slow reconstruction work worries global community
Kathmandu-based Nepal International Development Partners Group (IDPG) has expressed concern over the slow pace of reconstruction work in Nepal since the Gorkha Earthquake of 2015 and urged the government and the stakeholders concerned to expedite the process.
In a statement on the eve of the second anniversary of the deadly earthquake, the group said on Monday that although some progress had been made, there were people and communities who were yet to receive help and for whom the process of reconstruction had not moved fast enough.
"We understand and share their frustrations and realise that these processes will need to move faster," it said.
The IDPG is the apex platform of international development partners present in Nepal who meet to exchange views and information about all aspects of development cooperation and to coordinate joint efforts.
Many international donors, including India and China, had pledged over $4.1 billion immediately after the quake for the reconstruction of various private and public houses, monuments, schools, buildings and health facilities, among others. But due to slow progress, Nepal has not been able to fully utilise the amount pledged from the donors.
Nearly 9,000 people had died and thousands of private and public buildings were completely destroyed in the quake. But even after two years, thousands of people are still living in makeshift structures.
"After much preparatory work... the reconstruction work has gained momentum," the group said, adding that now greater efforts were needed to expand this momentum.
The Nepal government had formed a National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) to execute various reconstruction work in Nepal. The NRA also admitted slow pace of work.
"Only 40 per cent damaged houses were rebuilt in two years. Slow progress has been reported even on rebuilding health facilities," NRA Chief Executive Govinda Raj Pokhrel said in a press conference in Kathmandu on Monday.
"We will have fund crunch of another $3-4 billion for completion of the reconstruction job. Now in rural areas, some communities are getting back on their feet and taking ownership of the task of reconstruction," the group said.
"The time ahead will not be easy, but working collectively, it is possible to overcome the trauma and to build back better," the IDPG added. - IANS