Nepal | August 03, 2020

NPC frames draft of reconstruction policy

Rupak D Sharma
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The National Planning Commission has prepared the draft of Post-Earthquake Recovery and Reconstruction Policy, which discourages use of prefabricated building materials, makes it mandatory for international non-governmental organisations to rope in domestic partners before executing works related to rehabilitation and reconstruction, and calls for utilisation of domestic financial resources to rebuild national and local heritage sites.

The draft policy was prepared based on suggestions laid by the prime minister-led National Reconstruction Consultative Committee, strategies prescribed by the Post Disaster Needs Assessment report and recommendations made during the June 25 International Conference on Nepal’s Reconstruction.

“It will work as a guiding tool for donor agencies, INGOs, NGOs and other organisations to frame programmes on recovery and reconstruction and aid those affected by earthquakes,” states the draft policy, a copy of which has been obtained by The Himalayan Times.

Policies will be framed by central government agencies, while work plans to implement these policies will be designed at districts or local levels

Although the policy was supposed to be formulated by the National Reconstruction Authority, the NPC took the initiative in this regard to help the body expedite implementation of rehabilitation and reconstruction programmes once it formally begins operation.

The draft policy, which is still being discussed at the NPC, has recommended ways to create jobs at the local level, improve livelihood and ensure the most vulnerable are not left out.

The main focus of the draft policy is on rebuilding private houses damaged by the earthquake, restoration of social infrastructure, such as schools and health centres, and reconstruction of heritage sites.

To meet these targets, principle of ‘Centralised Policy, Decentralised Programmes’ has been adopted.

As per this principle, policies would be framed by central government agencies, while work plans to implement these policies would be designed at districts or local levels.

The draft policy has, thus, called on everyone interested in taking part in the reconstruction drive, especially NGOs and INGOs, to follow standard, design and methods approved by the government while preparing their programmes, and work in coordination with local communities during implementation phase.

“INGOs interested in taking part in rehabilitation and reconstruction activities must work in coordination with Nepali agencies and take consent of local communities before executing their works,” states the draft policy. It adds that people must rebuild or renovate their destroyed or damaged houses on their own. “The government would extend financial and technical support in this regard,” states the draft, adding, “The funds pledged by the government would be deposited in joint account of husband and wife, wherever possible.”

Also, technical teams would be dispatched to demonstrate techniques of building quake-resilient houses, and skills training would be offered to those interested. “A third of the participants of skills training and orientation programmes should be females,” adds the draft.

The draft policy has also laid emphasis on local participation in construction of private houses so as to create jobs. It has also prioritised use of local construction materials such as concrete and mud blocks, precast beam and slabs.

“Use of prefabricated materials and other imported construction materials should be discouraged,” states the draft policy.

It speaks of extending funds to house owners and tenants, who do not have a place to stay because of destruction caused by quakes, forming mechanisms to ensure transparency during procurement processes, establishment of district rehabilitation and reconstruction coordination committees, and appointment of undersecretary level staff as district reconstruction coordinator.

A version of this article appears in print on August 06, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.

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