Nepal formally begins delayed rebuild after earthquake

BUNGMATI, Nepal -- Nepal officially launched the much-delayed reconstruction of about 1 million homes and buildings Saturday nearly nine months after they were damaged by devastating earthquake which killed 9,000 people.

See Full Article

Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Oli unveiled plans to rebuild Bungmati, an old town just south of Kathmandu, to initiate the reconstruction campaign that is expected to take years and cost billions of dollars. President Bidhya Devi Bhandari laid the foundation stones for rebuilding a temple and garden with a pond next to it in Kathmandu.

It is still not clear when work on other more devastated areas will begin, and people in northern mountain villages who are living in tents in freezing weather likely will have to wait for months.

Nepal has been criticized for delaying the much-needed reconstruction work because of disagreements among political parties, drafting the country's new constitution, ethnic protests and severe fuel shortages.

Foreign donors have pledged $4.1 billion for earthquake reconstruction, but little has reached Nepal because setting up the new National Reconstruction Authority to handle the task took months.

"We will move the reconstruction campaign at full speed. Next year there won't be damaged houses here. It will be a clean and beautiful town," Oli told the cheering people in this farming town, where seven people died and 1,166 houses were damaged.

Asha Kaji Shakya, 60-year-old farmer, said he was angry at the government because it was taking months to get any help.

"I have a family of seven living in this shade for months. Our family home is damaged and not livable and I have no money," Shakya said showing the shelter made from old tin and bricks salvaged from fallen houses.

"I am hopeful the government will finally give the money and we can at least begin to build our house," said Ram Krishna Tuladhar, a shop owner whose four-floor house has been reduced to two floors.

People like Shakya and Tuladhar have been promised 200,000 rupees ($1,850) in government grants and another 1.5 million rupees ($13,890) in loans from the government. They have not seen the money and government is still not sure when they will be able to provide it to the families.

Sushil Gyewali, who heads the new agency, said they would train thousands of construction workers and are sending 1,500 engineers to villages to get damage assessments.

"We have been given five years to complete our task. It will not take whole five years and I think in three years all private houses can be reconstructed," Gyewali said.

The agency would also come up with plans and instruction on how new houses should be build, help get financial help from government and provide any technical help to house owners.

The delay had also frustrated foreign donors and international agencies like OXFAM have been waiting for these building guidelines so they can help communities rebuild.

"The moment there are no instruction for reconstruction is very problematic for communities because they don't have guidelines on how to reconstruct their houses," said chief of OXFAM Nepaal office Cecilia Keizer. "There are no clear cut instructions from the government of how they could construct their houses but also what kind of financial support will come when.

"It has all been delayed and that for us difficult," she said.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Snow arrives to southern B.C. but weather agency downplays earlier predictions

    Canada News CTV News
    VANCOUVER -- British Columbia's south coast is known for its temperate weather and mild winters, but that norm is being turned on its head this year as temperatures dip and the region is blanketed in snow for the second time in less than a week. Source
  • Encounter with a cop 'made' boy's day after rough year

    Canada News CTV News
    After a difficult year, Nicholas Tyrrell walked into his elementary school classroom Friday, with a newfound spring in his step. After all, the six-year-old student had just received an official patch from a Toronto police officer on duty outside his northwest Toronto school. Source
  • Prince Andrew to press: End false stories about daughters

    World News CTV News
    LONDON -- Britain's Prince Andrew is asking the media to cease "speculation and innuendo" about his daughters, and denies he's feuding with elder brother Prince Charles. Andrew, the third of Queen Elizabeth II's four children, released a strongly worded statement Friday slamming recent newspaper stories "that have no basis in fact. Source
  • Liberals have to 'work very hard' on refugee file in new global context: McCallum

    Canada News CBC News
    The man tasked with bringing thousands of Syrian refugees to Canada says that while most Canadians were quick to embrace them, his government still "has to work very hard" to convince some people to embrace these new arrivals. Source
  • No more Tims for man who says mouse found in cup

    Canada News CTV News
    STEWIACKE, N.S. - A man who says he pulled a dead mouse from a cup of Tim Hortons coffee is asking for an apology from the restaurant chain. Jim Elliott says he bought two take-out coffees two weeks ago from the outlet in Stewiacke, N.S. Source
  • Man acquitted of raping woman in front of husband in 1995

    Canada News CBC News
    Jack Kramer has been found guilty of break and enter and possession of a weapon, but not guilty of the more serious charges of forcible confinement and sexual assault related to a 1995 attack on a woman in her home. Source
  • Boy, 16, arrested following threat against central Ontario schools

    Canada News CTV News
    BRACEBRIDGE, Ont. - Provincial police have arrested a 16-year-old boy after a threat was made via Twitter on Friday morning involving the Trillium Lakelands District School Board in central Ontario. As a result, all Trillium Lakelands schools -- both elementary and secondary -- in Kawartha Lakes, Haliburton County, and Muskoka were put into a hold and secure. Source
  • Women sue groom, event company after being hit by drone

    World News Toronto Sun
    BRENTWOOD, N.H. — Two women are suing a groom and the event company that ran his wedding reception after they allege he flew a drone that hit them in the head at the New Hampshire event. Kneena Ellis, of Seabrook, and Kelly Eaton of Peabody, Massachusetts, claim in their Dec. Source
  • Firefighter: Warehouse missing from fire-inspection records

    World News Toronto Sun
    SAN FRANCISCO — The illegally occupied Oakland warehouse where dozens of partygoers perished in a blaze does not appear in a database fire inspectors use to schedule inspections and may never have been checked for fire hazards, a firefighter with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press. Source
  • Obama orders review of election campaign hacking

    World News CBC News
    A White House official says the president has ordered a review of the email hacking that rattled the presidential campaign. U.S. President Barack Obama's counterterrorism adviser Lisa Monaco says intelligence and national security officials were told to report their findings to the president before he leaves office on Jan. Source