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Two years after Nepal quake, slow reconstruction worries world community

International bodies involved in reconstruction efforts in Nepal after the 2015 earthquake have expressed concern at the slow pace of work and asked the government to speed up the process.

world Updated: Apr 24, 2017 22:57 IST
Anil Giri
Anil Giri
Hindustan Times, Kathmandu
Nepal earthquake reconstruction,Nepal 2015 earthquake,International Development Partners Group
File photo of a woman walking past houses damaged in the 2015 earthquake in Bhaktapur, Nepal, in January 2017. Hundreds of houses were damaged during the April 25, 2015 earthquake in Bhaktapur, known for brick paved roads, old palaces and artistic Hindu temples. (AP)

Two years after vast swathes of Nepal were devastated by a massive earthquake, international bodies involved in supporting reconstruction on Monday expressed concern at the slow pace of work and urged the government and stakeholders to expedite the process.

In a statement issued on the eve of second anniversary of the “Gorkha Earthquake”, Kathmandu-based International Development Partners Group (IDPG) said some progress had been made but there were people and communities that are yet to receive help and for whom the process of reconstruction has not moved fast enough.

“We understand and share their frustrations and realise that these processes will need to move faster,” the statement said.

The IDPG is the apex platform for international development partners in Nepal that meet to exchange information about development cooperation and to coordinate efforts.

After much preparatory work under the leadership of the government and a post-disaster needs assessment, the reconstruction momentum has picked up but more efforts are needed to expand it in the coming year, the IDPG said.

The government had formed the National Reconstruction Authority to execute reconstruction-related works but here too matters were affected by the slow pace of work.

Only 40% of damaged houses have been rebuilt and slow progress has been reported in rebuilding health facilities, NRA chief executive Govinda Raj Pokhrel told a news conference in Kathmandu.

Besides the pledged amount, there is a fund crunch of another $3 billion to $ 4 billion for completing the reconstruction work, experts said.

Many international donors, including India and China, pledged more than $ 4.1 billion immediately after the 7.8-magnitude quake for reconstructing houses, monuments, schools, buildings, health facilities and other structures. But due to the slow progress, Nepal has not fully used the amount from the donor community.

More than 8,800 people died and tens of thousands of houses were damaged or completely destroyed by the quake and aftershocks. After two years, thousands of people are still living in makeshift shelters.

First Published: Apr 24, 2017 17:57 IST