Red tape delays resettlement of landslide survivors in different parts of Nepal – OnlineKhabar French News
During last year’s monsoon, 39 people in Baglung, 31 in Myagdi and 16 in Syangja in Gandaki province were killed in landslides. In addition, 17 people in Baglung and six in Myagdi were missing. As it is still not known where these missing persons are, it is also assumed that they are dead.
According to provincial statistics, 136 people were killed and 25 people are missing during floods and landslides in the province alone from June to September last, also causing a loss of billions of rupees.
In view of this, the government announced the provision of grants for compensation and assistance with the resettlement of those affected by the floods and landslides. This made the survivors of the floods and landslides happy and hopeful. However, their hope is dashed as the government broke its word due to bureaucratic hassles and a lack of coordination between different levels of government. As a result, the survivors once again fear that they will be homeless.
Delay in keeping promises
Being hilly neighborhoods, most of the houses in the places mentioned are near steep slopes. As a result, landslides swept away all the homes and land of some families. As a result, more than 1,400 families were displaced in Baglung last year. Some of them took refuge in the homes of their relatives while others moved to other parts of the country.
Likewise, landslides that caused the economic loss of millions of rupees displaced 821 families living in high risk areas in Myagdi. A study by the Gandaki provincial government showed that they should have been moved from there. In Syangja, more than 350 families living at high risk of landslides had to be evacuated.
However, the heads of the local governments concerned report that the survivors of the floods and landslides have been more affected due to the delay in the government grant for resettlement and maintenance. They complain that there has been a delay even though they inform the provincial and federal governments from time to time.
“A lot of families don’t have land on which to build houses. Most of the houses need to be rebuilt, while many more houses need maintenance, ”said Hom Bahadur BK, vice president of Marsyangdi Rural Municipality, Lamjung,“ It’s time for another monsoon. We were unable to do anything because the necessary documents from the provincial and federal governments did not arrive. “
In agreement, Taranath Poudel, president of Nisikhola Rural Municipality of Baglung, adds that even residents of high-risk areas could not be relocated due to the delay of the federal and provincial governments. He further complains that their voices were neglected even after repeatedly informing them.
“The local level is doing its best. However, we cannot do it all alone as the landslides have destroyed the entire colony, “says Poudel,” If the provincial and federal governments had thought of it in time, the survivors would not have suffered much in the process. of the next monsoon. “
Delay in formulating the working procedure
Hari Sharma, Deputy District Chief of Syangja, says reconstruction and resettlement activities have been delayed due to the delay in formulating the working procedure under the National Authority for Disaster Risk Reduction and Management. The procedure for private households was finalized in January 2021 only.
“Even the old data that we sent was not taken into account when finalizing the new procedure because the data must be there, according to the new criteria. Therefore, it has become too late to prepare new data meeting the new criteria, ”Sharma reports.
Local governments providing grants
The municipality of Jamini de Baglung itself started the reconstruction and rehousing works after the delay in receiving the grants, even after repeated correspondence with the provincial and federal governments, informs Mayor Indra Raj Poudel.
In addition, explains Poudel: “It is getting late as the monsoon approaches. If the house is not built on time, they will become homeless. We started to build houses by giving grants ourselves so that the victims would no longer be homeless. “
According to him, 26 houses were completely damaged and 56 houses were partially damaged in his municipality due to landslides.
However, even though the municipality has provided concessional grants, only three of the beneficiaries have built houses so far.
He informs that many other survivors have left the area because there was no timely resettlement. Some have migrated to the Terai region, others to Kathmandu, and some have not even made contact. Even those who have taken refuge in the homes of their relatives are thinking of leaving the village.
Grants from the center received, but not from the province
Gandaki province spent 13.1 million rupees on behalf of disaster management this fiscal year, until mid-November 2020. In addition, on January 21, 2021, the provincial cabinet decided to ask the government of Nepal to provide the necessary funds for reconstruction. and maintenance of disaster damage.
The provincial government had requested 2.17 billion rupees from the federal government for the reconstruction and maintenance of physical infrastructure damaged by floods and landslides.
Prakash Dhungana, an officer from the provincial Ministry of Internal Affairs, said, “The provincial government has already received the grant but has not distributed it to the districts as some process is still underway. Again, we asked for data from all municipalities. Only then will the money be distributed from here.
However, after receiving the grant from the federal government, the Myagdi district began reconstruction work without the grant from the provincial government. Subash Sharma Poudel, information officer at the district administrative office, informs that some of the houses are being built with the help of Myagdeli Pravasi Nepali Sangh, an organization of non-resident Nepalese from the district.