‘Reinstate NRA to expedite recovery efforts’

Kathmandu, October 30

The Government of Nepal should urgently reinstate the National Reconstruction Authority to get earthquake recovery and reconstruction efforts back on track, said Oxfam in a paper titled ‘Rebuilding a More Resilient Nepal” launched yesterday.

“It is urgent that the reconstruction process regains momentum. The Parliament needs to pass the Reconstruction Bill, so that the NRA can resume its tasks and inform people on how they can rebuild better and safer houses, and get much needed livelihood support,” said Binay Dhital, Oxfam Acting Country Director in a policy forum jointly organised by National Network of Community based Disaster Management Committees, Himalayan Conservation Group, Humanitarian Accountability Monitoring Initiative, and Oxfam in Nepal.

It has also urged the government to provide additional support to households that will remain in temporary housing over the winter, communicate earthquake-resistant designs so households can build back safer, ensure principles of equality and inclusivity, community-led reconstruction and transparency and accountability at the heart of reconstruction plans, integrate food security and livelihoods recovery with reconstruction plans and ensure meaningful participation of women and men from excluded groups in relevant decision-making structures and processes.

The NRA has remained in limbo for a long time and a supplementary bill to renew its legal mandate has yet to be passed by the Parliament. As a result ,no plans have been shared with the affected people, who are now starting to rebuild without clear guidelines from the government, it said.

“The post earthquake reconstruction plan should uphold the principles of equality and inclusion, and ensure special provisions for single women, senior citizens, people with physical disabilities, orphans, and people from marginalised communities,” Dhital added, “Further delays in finalising and implementing reconstruction plans mean people are unprepared for winter.”

It is estimated that at least 81,000 households are in need of durable shelters and additional support to cope with the cold. People are still living in basic shelters built from bamboo and corrugated metal, which are not fit for freezing winter conditions.