Repairs Stall After Nepal’s Deadly Earthquake

Nearly a year after the 7.8-magnitude earthquake in Nepal that claimed more than 8,000 lives on April 25, 2015, the Kathmandu government has yet to rebuild a single permanent home due to bureaucratic delays, red tape and mismanagement — despite $4.1 billion in international pledges toward reconstruction.

The National Catholic Reporter writes:

The government finally overcame political deadlock and appointed Sushil Gyewali as chief executive officer of the National Reconstruction Authority in December. The civil engineer had a good reputation for results, yet his first major act was to announce a contest for the agency’s logo. The promised payments for house construction were once again delayed, and many survivors worry that if they start building on their own, they will lose their eligibility for government assistance.

The reconstruction authority is also behind on “hiring staff and procuring computers, vehicles and equipment,” as well as short on experienced personnel, the Wall Street Journal writes.

“We are taking quite a careful approach,” Takuya Kamata, Nepal country manager for the World Bank, which is providing $200 million for housing, tells the Journal. “This country is on a seismic line. We don’t know when the next big one will come.”

Hopefully, it’ll be accomplished sooner rather than later.

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A local shop offers for sale a mask of Narasimha, the Hindu lion god, and a swastika symbol, among other items, in Bhaktapur, Nepal. At top, a sign denotes Bhaktapur Durbar Square as a World Heritage Site. (Photos by Bruno J. Navarro)

 

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