The post-earthquake reconstruction which never happened

‘If I am the problem, bring someone new, but let’s get to work’ Dr. Govind Raj Pokharel, CEO of National Reconstruction Authority which does not legally exist…


Even 4 months after the earthquakes, the Government was unable to spend the 4.1 billion dollars donated to Nepal with the purpose to start an immediate relief and reconstruction of the country, which was devastated after the April 25 and May 12, 2015 earthquakes, which left around 9000 people dead, around 14000 injured and according to the assessment of the UN, 3 million people house-less. Below is a list of articles which describe this unbelievable situation, its causes and paradoxes, while my commentary would come later.

Four months after quakes, Nepal fails to spend any of $4.1 billion donor money | Reuters

Give them shelter | Our View | EDITORIAL(

Relief goods for quake victims decaying in Lamjung | The Himalayan Times

relief materiila rotteningImage:The Himalayan Times

Nepal Hasn’t Spent Any Of The $4 Billion In Donations Since Earthquake 

Mikel Dunham’s interview with Dr. Govind Raj Pokharel, CEO of the National Reconstruction Authority: REBUILDING NEPAL

“Nepal has been criticized for its sluggish, if not inept response to the quakes that killed almost 9,000 people. The country failed to adequately prepare even though experts had predicted an earthquake was likely. And then the government struggled to cope with relief efforts. Five months later, many partially damaged buildings in Kathmandu are still standing and rubble is strewn across public parks. Across the nation, tens of thousands of people are still living in plastic tents, preyed upon by flies and mosquitoes, with muddy paths and no drains.

From the beginning, the reconstruction process, over which Dr. Pokharel is responsible, was plagued by governmental neglect. The government had issued an ordinance on June 22, and it had registered the replacement bill on August 1. Why was a replacement bill necessary? Because, according to the Interim Constitution, an ordinance requires approval from the parliament within 60 days of parliament’s first session.  The government failed to follow the constitutional provision in time. Once again,  Nepal’s government showboated its impotence to carry out its most important responsibilities.

This problem is scheduled to be addressed in parliament on September 17 and it looks certain that, at last, the government will rectify its serious oversight by re-booting the National Reconstruction Authority, thereby beginning the distribution of the 4.1 billion dollar pledge received by international donors.” Read more here.

pokharel from spotlightnepal dotcomImage: Dr. Govind Raj Pokharel,

Hard to reconstruct
Tuesday, September 8th, 2015

“Pokharel is now CEO of an agency that doesn’t legally exist.

The government had two months to consult the opposition parties, prepare a new bill with every one’s consent and table it in the parliament before the ordinance expired,” he said. “But neither the government nor the ruling parties realised the urgency to replace the ordinance with the new bill. They woke up only after the ordinance expired and now want to push through a bill without our consent.”

“As the fate of the Authority hangs in balance, nearly 2 million people made homeless by the earthquake will have to wait longer to get support for reconstruction. Use of the $4.4 billion pledged by donors at a conference in Kathmandu two months ago is also uncertain.” Read more here.

hard to reconstruct nepali timesImage: Nepali Times

Pokhrel appeals for immediate revival of Reconstruction Authority
Sep 8, 2015- National Planning Vice Chairperson and CEO of the National Reconstruction Authority Govind Raj Pokhrel has appealed for an immediate revival of the Authority.

“I make a humble appeal to revive the Reconstruction Authority. If I am the probelm, bring someone new, but for sake of the survivors lets expedite the reconstruction process of our villages and cities,” Pokhrel said in a tweet

मेरो विनंम्र विन्ती छ पुनर्निमाण प्राधिकरण चाडै ब्युझाउं मैरे कारण भए अर्कों ल्याउं तर भूकम्प पीड़ितलाइ र गाउशहर चाडो पुन/नवनिर्माणमा लैजाउं
— grpokharel (@grpokharel) September 8, 2015

Wrangling over Reconstruction Authority returns

08 Sep 2015 Maoists want bill revised

“”We wanted to create a powerful and effective body quite different from the existing government agencies. While we wanted to include more independent and competent experts, the government formed the authority with a view to mobilizing the same government officials,” said Pokharel. “It is meaningless to form such a body if it is not going to work any more effectively than the government bureaucracy.”

“The Maoist leaders came up with a new stance as the government failed to replace the ordinance introduced by the government to form the authority. As per the interim constitution, an ordinance must be replaced within 60 days of commencement of the subsequent parliament session. However, the government is insisting on replacing the ordinance after just making some changes to the bill without returning to the cabinet.”

Though the government had registered the bill at the parliament secretariat, tabling it in the House was delayed as the government failed to pay much attention to it. “When the government took the initiative to replace the bill, it was already too late,” said a joint-secretary at the parliament secretariat.

Govt call to coordinate aid has been seen as control attempt | Interview | :: The Kathmandu Post ::

Political tectonics | By The Way | Nepali Times

Only 300 of 2,700 quake-damaged houses in KMC dismantled so far | The Himalayan Times

Embezzlement in tarpaulin purchase for quake survivors: CIAA indicts MoUD secy, officials, traders | The Himalayan Times

Dhading quake injured worry about future | The Himalayan Times

Private hospitals charging quake-hit patients high | Top Stories

Relief materials meant for quake, landslide victims rotting in Myagdi | The Himalayan Times

Relief, ID card distribution biased: Quake victims | The Himalayan Times

How can we ensure every penny of aid is accounted for in Nepal? | Global Development Professionals Network | The Guardian

Kumari locals complain of unequal distribution of relief | The Himalayan Times

Helping whom exactly? | Opinion | Oped


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