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Winter may be hard for Nepal quake survivors

world Updated: Oct 26, 2015 12:38 IST
Utpal Parashar
Utpal Parashar
Hindustan Times
Nepal earthquake

A Nepalese earthquake survivor at her damaged temporary shelter in Bhaktapur, on the outskirts of Kathmandu. Hundreds of thousands of quake victims in Nepal are unable to start rebuilding their homes as winter approaches because an over four billion dollars of reconstruction fund cannot be spent until lawmakers pass a long-delayed bill -- to the frustration of international donors. (AFP)

Over 80,000 families in Nepal affected by the devastating earthquake this April look at a tough winter ahead as the ongoing fuel crisis in the country has affected distribution of goods.

Nepal is facing a severe crisis of petroleum products for over a month now as protesters opposed to the new constitution are blocking important border points connecting the land-locked country to India.

It has been six months since the April and May quakes killed nearly 9,000, destroyed over 600,000 homes, damaged 290,000 others and displaced 1.8 million people.

While temporary shelters have been constructed for over 700,000 families, the harsh winter is still a matter of concern as most of the affected are still without permanent homes.

“Lack of fuel is significantly affecting distribution of goods. There is a brief window of fair weather in which humanitarian actors can respond before the snow,” said Jamie McGoldrick, UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Nepal.

Though a lot has been done to provide shelter, education, food and health facilities to the affected, he said the present conditions are a concern.

Nepal government is yet to formalize setting up a reconstruction authority for the quake – four months after the international community including India pledged $ 4.4 billion for rebuilding damaged infrastructure.