Training to enhance workers’ skills

Kathmandu, February 6

The National Reconstruction Authority has said it will launch training to enhance skills among workers deployed in reconstruction activities in all villages affected by last year’s earthquake.

Chief Executive Officer at NRA, Govind Raj Pokhrel has said 200 technicians of Nepali Army were currently providing training in different villages.

“One executive member of NRA has been assigned to look after the training,” he said, adding that Nepali Army’s technicians will continue providing training to help accelerate reconstruction activities.

The NRA is mobilising technicians in all remote areas to produce skilled human resources, which will be beneficial in future too.

Though there is need of 60,000 skilled workers to assist in post-earthquake reconstruction works in the 14 most affected districts, training has so far been imparted to 15,000. However, the fact is that all the trained workers are not working. Private housing reconstruction works have not commenced in the affected districts due to lack of trained workers and construction materials.

Twenty workers received house rebuilding training, but only four are working, according to CEO Pokhrel. Exodus of youths from villages for jobs abroad has caused shortage of workers in the quake-hit districts, he added.

The NRA, it is learnt, is preparing to present a proposal at a meeting of the Council of Ministers, seeking amendment to the NRA Funds Guidelines to ensure transparency in the implementation of reconstruction works.

The NRA Steering Committee recently decided to target those survivors residing on Guthi’s land or facing other land-related problems. As per the decision, survivors falling in this category need the recommendation of the respective ward or VDC and consideration of neighbours to draw the first instalment of the house rebuilding grant. Some 11,000 survivors in the most-affected districts face land-related problems, according to NRA Joint Secretary Janardan Guragain.

Some 200,000 houses in the badly affected districts are in need of retrofitting, the NRA data shows. The government has decided to provide Rs 10,000 to a house owner to retrofit quake-damaged house.

NRA executive member Hariram Parajuli said quake victims have the right to choose between reconstructing or upgrading their houses.