Ramechhap, September 23
More than three years after the devastating 2015 earthquakes, thousands of families in Ramechhap are still living inside damaged houses putting their lives at risk.
As per official data, 6,500 houses in the district were identified as having received ‘minor damage’ in the quakes, and as per the National Reconstruction Authority guidelines, the houses can be made habitable after repairs for which the NRA has pledged to provide Rs 100,000 to each household. But, so far, the reconstruction authority has neither finalised the repair procedures for such houses nor trained its technicians.
“As nothing has been done for long, we said that we would repair our houses on our own, but were told to wait. The ones whose houses were destroyed in the quakes have long moved to new houses, but we’re still forced to stay put in the damaged houses,” said Karma Lama of Phulasi.
It is learnt that a number of houses that were completely damaged in the quake, were identified as having received ‘minor damage’ in the district. “There are cases where houses were destroyed in the quake but quite surprisingly their names have been listed as beneficiaries of the repair fund, which is unfair,” said Likhu Tamakoshi Rural Municipality Vice-chair Dipshikha Neupane Dahal.
As for repairs, Build Change, an organisation entrusted with providing training in repair work, has started its work on a couple of houses. The organisation is said to have repaired around two dozen houses in Manthali Municipality and Likhu Tamakoshi and Khandadevi rural municipalities as part of training for locals.
Data with the District Project Implementation Unit (Grant Management and Local Infrastructure) has shown that 6,500 households in the district have been listed for repair grant.
A version of this article appears in print on September 24, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.