Sun, 22 Sep, 2019

Why Are We Still Talking About Earthquake?

By Giriraj Khatri

A man sits on the rubble of his damaged house in Bhaktapur, April 27, 2015.  Photo: REUTERS/Adnan Abidi
We are still talking about the earthquake that occurred in 2015 and more importantly with high priority. Every now and again, there are headlines about the earthquake victims living in temporary settlement and lagging basic facilities.  In addition, news of relief distribution is often seen on the paper till date. This talk is intensified more with the displacement of chairman of National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) and appointment of a new head by the government. What is really fueling this talk? Nothing has been done by the government to address the need of 65,000 people that was rendered homeless by 2015 earthquakes. Most of the relief materials received by the victims came from international agency and donors. The only thing victims enjoyed from the government was a cash incentive of three hundred thousand which is yet to be received fully. You cannot solely blame the government. There were more important roles to be played by the victims themselves. Waiting for grant and relief to fulfill their needs is the biggest mistake that victims have been making and if this mentality continues then there are threats of Nepal turning into Haiti. The people of Haiti who were melted down by the earthquake in 2010 are still living a miserable life. If this trend continues then the glorifying history of ours where the notion of hard work and self-dependent are sung with greater joy will remain in the pages of history only. People play an important role and they should be proactive to build their own building rather than waiting for someone to come and do it for them. The change in the government of the country also hampered the reconstruction process. We have seen three governments after the earthquake. Different governments come with different plan and policy which have resulted in almost zero recoveries. It seems government is more focused to remain in power rather than addressing the needs of people. The ruins of different world heritage society lie laid in the same place and show no sign of recovery. The only heritage that got a facelift after the earthquake was Boudhanath with the initiation of Boudhanath Area Development Committee. The health center and schools that got fallen have never risen again. The only change that we have seen is the change in leadership of the country and National Reconstruction Authority. Both victims and government have an important role to play in the quick recovery. The government should initiate and people should collaborate. Let us not just talk but do everything possible to help our country rise again.