Issues of relocation plan

A monkey resolves to build a safe house on the day of heavy rain but followed by sunny day it forgets, always destined to be bitten by downpour. The government task for relocating the settlements at high risk in the earthquake affected areas is facing the same fate. It’s been more than ten months since the devastating earthquake struck Nepal.

Within these ten months a lot of hype about relocating the settlement hard hit by the quake before monsoon was raised but it has only been carried out in words, but not a single stone has been turned. The monsoon has ravished our hard-hit villages which were prone to landslides. Many villages in the rugged terrains were swept away by landslides triggered by rainfalls. This has intensified the plight of quack survivors. The government, concerned authorities and international organizations have turned a deaf ear to their plight.

Billions of dollars have been pledged through the donors and friendly countries, but the task of relocation and rehabilitation has yet to begin. The government decided to shift the vulnerable settlements to safer places within fifteen days but not a single village has been relocated so far even though it has been ten months since the quake. Hasty relocation design may create failure of resettlement projects in which entire livelihood, economy, and cultural values of community are affected.

Many people may not want to quit their old settlement without the guarantee of proper management of relocation. Other social and cultural aspects must be given top priority before choosing any safe geographical location. The vulnerable communities should not be relocated in areas that are far away from their old villages where they have familial connection. Therefore, a quick solution which does not to minimize the disaster hazards rather expands the vulnerabilities and ultimately failure of the project.

Poor choice of site for resettlement is one of the most frequently mentioned factors for resettlement failure. Site selected without proper understanding of the various socio-economic factors will bring no desired results.

One of the major barriers of the relocation is to provide enough land for cultivation for all the families. Compensation of land in new areas can be an uphill task. Another question is how the government will use the old and vulnerable land abandoned by the villagers.