Gorkha quake survivors 'upset' with INGOs

GORKHA: Locals of Gorkha – where lies the epicentre of the devastating earthquake of April 25, 2015 – have expressed their outrage to various INGOs' acts of haphazard spending of aid money in the district.

People vent their ire at the INGOs' activities of distributing relief to accessible people, rampant distribution of relief and reconstruction support without identifying the real needs of earthquake survivors and spending huge chunk of money for financial and logistic luxury.

It is noted that some 10 INGOs have set up their offices in Gorkha district in the name of providing support to earthquake victims. Locals have expressed their disappointment with mainly two of them – World Vision International and Catholic Relief Service – of late.

Locals say they are irked by the INGOs as the distribute relief materials and cash to the survivors in bits and pieces; while they ignore their needs to to construct houses, however small, to get protected from scorching heat and erratic rain conditions.

It has been learnt  the CRS has selected Caritas Nepal, Swanra Intensive Village Development Centre and System Development Service Centre as local development partners. However, no work has started so far.

The Gorkha District Natural Disaster Relief Committee has not been aware of the activities of CRS in the district.

Meanwhile, it has been revealed that the budget dedicated to the earthquake survivors has been spent for operational costs including those for vehicles, house rent and hotel charge.

The CRS has taken the Secretariat building of Gorkha Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Chhahare on rent for its official works, for which its pays Rs 50,000 a month. Sources reveal that they have spent Rs 4.5 million for mere maintenance of the building. The Gorkha Chamber of Commerce and Industry had constructed the building at the cost of Rs 3.5 million some years ago.

Likewise, the same INGO has rented a hall of Gorkha Inn at Shaktichok of Gorkha for Rs 100,000 a month to organise various meetings and events.

Gorkha In-charge of the organisation, Snigdha Chakrabarty, however, replies that all the activities are being undertaken after taking approval from the government.

"So, our all information about project activities are with the government", Chakrawarty says in response to the request for information.

Likewise, another INGO, World Vision International, is found to be distributing money to middle-class people though it had taken approval to work for poor households and people living with disabilities in Hamsapur, Kerabari and Ghyalchok VDCs.