Nepal | November 24, 2020

Rebuilding policy

EDITORIAL

The Himalayan Times
Share Now:

There is no doubt that maximum use of local materials and resources should be utilized, but other important factors should not be ignored

The National Planning Commission (NPC) has prepared the draft of Post-Earthquake Recovery and Reconstruction Policy, which after its approval with some probable changes, will become the policy to guide the reconstruction work. The draft gives importance to local resources and raw materials, which is often a sound policy. The draft discourages the use of prefabricated building materials, requires INGOs to seek domestic partners before they can start rehabilitation and reconstruction work, places emphasis on the utilization of domestic financial resources to rebuild national and local heritage sites. The draft is said to be based on the suggestions offered by the National Reconstruction Consultative Committee chaired by the Prime Minister, which will act as an advisory committee to the PM-led 11-member National Reconstruction Authority (NRA), also to be headed by the Prime Minister; on the strategies prescribed by the NPC-prepared Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) report, as well as the recommendations of the June 25 international conference on Nepal’s reconstruction held in Kathmandu.

The final reconstruction policy will guide the work of donor agencies, INGOs, NGOs and other organizations to draw up programmes of recovery and reconstruction, as well as of assistance to the earthquake victims. The NRA was brought into existence by an ordinance in a hasty manner just a week before the donors’ conference on June 25. But, sadly, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the authority is yet to be named, some three and a half months after the April 25 quake, and about one and a half months after the donors’ conference. NRA was supposed to frame the reconstruction policy, but NPC has done it, citing reasons of making the task of NRA easier. The CEO has not been appointed so far because of the row between the parties in power over which of them should be allowed to choose the CEO.

This delay does not bode well for the speedy reconstruction, the main focus of which, according to the draft, will be rebuilding private houses, restoration of social infrastructure, such as schools and health centres, and reconstruction of the heritage sites. The reconstruction policy will provide a framework in the form of standards, designs and methods approved by the government for organizations, especially NGOs and INGOS, in preparing their programmes and implementing these in coordination with the local communities. Though the emphasis on local content is well placed, this should not blind us to the other factors like safety and ease. The draft discourages prefabricated materials and other imported construction materials. Prefab materials are imported as well as made at home. But the government’s post-quake statements suggest that emphasis will be placed on the construction of earthquake-resistant houses and structures. There is no doubt that maximum use of local men, materials and other resources should be utilized, but other important factors should not be ignored. Prefab materials should not be ignored – they could be useful in the construction of houses, particularly in villages and other open areas. If there was more demand, more prefab materials would be likely to be produced domestically.

Resettle the victims

It is seven years since 58 families in Kanchanpur district were displaced after a massive flood in the Mahakali River swept away their land and homes. They are taking refuge in the Rani Community Forestry without support from the government. These families are always in constant fear that their shanty shelters can be blown away during the spring or washed away during monsoon. It is particularly the children who are the hardest hit.

Representatives of the local political parties and officials of the community forestry had allowed them to settle in the forest area in 2009. But the government has not provided them secure place for permanent settlement. To make matters worse, the flood victims have not been listed as victims of the natural disaster, causing them to live a destitute life without any basic facilities. It is only the RCS which has been providing them with tents and food. The government should address their plight by providing them with suitable land where they can at least build a house.


A version of this article appears in print on August 07, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.


Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

National Examinations Board (NEB) Nepal

Grade XII exams begin today

KATHMANDU, NOVEMBER 23 National Examinations Board is all set to conduct the examination of Grade XII from tomorrow amidst the coronavirus crisis. Regular examination will be held until December 1. The NEB, after a long halt, had devised a new protocol allowing students to take the exam for Read More...

Burnley get first win with Wood strike against Palace

BURNLEY: Burnley secured their first win of the Premier League season as Chris Wood's eighth minute goal was enough to earn a 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace at Turf Moor on Monday. The result moves Burnley out of the bottom three up to 17th place, on five points from eight matches, wh Read More...

Demonstration in Gaur enters second week

RAUTAHAT, NOVEMBER 23 The sit-in and demonstration launched by local residents in front of Gaur Customs Office demanding that the border entry point, which has been closed for months, has completed its second week today. The sit-in-cum-demonstration had started from November 10 at the init Read More...

KMC

Those availing free PCR test to be disqualified from insurance

KATHMANDU, NOVEMBER 23 Kathmandu Metropolitan City Mayor Bidya Sundar Shakya had announced two days ago that the metropolis would conduct free PCR tests for coronavirus. While the mayor’s announcement is unlikely to be implemented anytime soon, it is learnt that people undergoing such free P Read More...

Border closure affecting marriages

NEPALGUNJ, NOVEMBER 23 Twenty-year-old Rina Ali Shaiyad’s marriage has been stalled for months now. Scheduled to tie the knot with a man across the border in April, her plan went awry owing to the lockdown enforced by the government in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. As uncertainty Read More...

Editorial: Rape is unreconcilable

The new provision in the ordinance will discourage village leaders from settling rape cases outside the court of law The council of ministers on Sunday took the decision to issue an ordinance by making amendments to three laws related to Criminal Code-2074, the Act related to Senior Citizens-2063 a Read More...

Respect farming: No food, no life

Focussing on the bottom-up approach in extension can somehow develop the feeling of ownership among farmers. The Nepali agriculture extension system is showing slow progress because there’s a lack of coordination between the different units working for the same sector “ What do you want to be i Read More...

Dying language

Some time ago the media lamented on the precarious fate of the Magaraa language in Province 1. With over 125 dialects and languages, it is hardly surprising that many of them will become extinct for lack of use for several reasons, including domination of the Nepali and English languages. The Mao Read More...