Left Menu
Development News Edition

Nepal marks quake anniversary as rebuilding continues

Devdiscourse News Desk | Kathmandu | Updated: 25-04-2019 22:21 IST | Created: 25-04-2019 19:51 IST
Nepal marks quake anniversary as rebuilding continues
Nepal on Thursday marked the fourth anniversary of a massive earthquake that killed almost 9,000 people and left millions homeless, some of whom are still living in temporary shelters. Image Credit: Flickr

Nepal on Thursday marked the fourth anniversary of a massive earthquake that killed almost 9,000 people and left millions homeless, some of whom are still living in temporary shelters. Nepal's prime minister KP Sharma Oli joined locals and civil servants at a memorial in the Kathmandu Durbar Square, a UNESCO world heritage site being rebuilt after it was badly damaged in the April 2015 quake.

"I would like to offer my condolences to those all who lost their lives," Oli said. "We are here remembering the pain of that day... and it is also important to examine how much work we have been able to do in the last four years to restore and rebuild what we lost."

A minute's silence was observed around 11:56 am -- the time the 7.8-magnitude quake hit, triggering avalanches and landslides across the Himalayan nation and destroying schools and hospitals. The disaster also reduced more than a hundred monuments to rubble, including centuries-old temples and royal palaces in the Kathmandu valley that attracted visitors from around the world.

The National Reconstruction Authority, the government body overseeing rebuilding, says that half of the families left homeless in the quake have already completed reconstruction and started living in their new homes. Another 30 per cent are currently building new homes.

Families were given about $3000 in government grants over three instalments to rebuild. "We still have a lot to do and we will complete it in the next 20 months," said Sushil Gyawali, chief of the authority, whose five-year mandate ends at the end of 2020.

But a USD 9 billion reconstruction effort has been plagued by political infighting, bureaucracy and confusion among quake victims over how to obtain the grants. The government also faces an estimated USD 4 billion shortfalls in reconstruction funds.

Experts also fear that a rush to rebuild has put pressure on quake survivors to take out expensive loans and build homes that may be too small to be functional for families. "We are now sharing a three-roomed flat. Even this was built with a loan. Quake victims need more support from the government," said Sri Ram Shrestha, 48, who lost his two-storey house in the quake.

Nepal rests on a major fault line between two tectonic plates. On the eve of the anniversary, the country was hit with three tremors, the strongest of which was 5.2 magnitude.


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Rethinking Rural Livelihoods in the Times of COVID-19

The reverse migration caused by COVID 19 pandemic has put an additional burden of about one crore people on Indian villages particularly in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Bengal and Odisha. Besides increasing the risk of spreading the ...

‘Discounted Deaths’ and COVID 19: Anthropology of Death and Emotions

Death is a social event rather than the mere cessation of biological functions. As seen by anthropologists, death is not just physical but intensely social, cultural, and political....

Indigenous knowledge of communities a must for maximizing impact of community work

Generally, it has been observed that the majority of the academicians in higher education institutions neglect the wisdom of community people and throw their weight around thinking that they know everything and the community knows nothing. ...

In rebuking FBR, Pakistan’s courts take a stand for public health

The system, if implemented effectively, will allow Pakistans revenue service to combat the illicit trade in tobacco products and potentially add hundreds of millions of dollars to the states budget each year. ...

Videos

Latest News

Malls gear up for reopening in Kerala

After the Union Ministry of Home Affairs allowed hotels, malls across the country to open from June 8, except those falling in containment zones, the management at malls in Kerala have been gearing up to ensure all safety precautions are me...

Reuters Sports News Summary

Following is a summary of current sports news briefs. Competitive sport in England gets green light for Monday restartAfter a near three-month shutdown, elite competitive sport in England can resume from Monday behind closed doors provided ...

Reuters World News Summary

Following is a summary of current world news briefs. Divert weapons funding to research to prevent next pandemic, pope saysPope Francis on Saturday urged politicians to divert funds spent on weapons to research to prevent another pandemic, ...

Reuters US Domestic News Summary

Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs. After pandemic, California oyster farmer confident in industrys returnWhile most businesses across the United States remained shuttered due to the coronavirus pandemic, Terry Sawyer...

Give Feedback