Sunday, April 24, 2016

Nepal earthquake: How is country faring one year on? By Surendra Phuyal

As Nepal marks the first anniversary of its devastating earthquake, the BBC Nepal's Surendra Phuyal assesses how the country has been coping.

What has Nepal done since the quake?

The government has provided 25,000 rupees ($250, £164) to families to buy corrugated sheets and warm clothes and paid out 40,000 rupees ($400) for the death of each family member.
Most affected families have received this money. The Himalayan nation has also assessed the loss and damage caused by the quake, but has yet to officially kick start its much-delayed reconstruction mission. The National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) was only set up in December 2015. It will officially announce the start of the reconstruction campaign in the coming week. The authority is seeking 811 billion rupees ($8bn) to implement its reconstruction programme for the next five years. NRA spokesperson Ram Thapaliya told BBC Nepali that international donors are being asked to extend their commitment for reconstruction programmes. "The donors have already pledged half of the amount ($4bn) and we are in the process of seeking commitment for the rest," he said.

What was the scale of the destruction?

Nearly 9,000 people died and 22,309 were injured in the two earthquakes that struck Nepal last year. The first was on 25 April 2015, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake which caused most of the damage and loss of life. A large number of aftershocks followed, including one that measured 7.3 on 12 May 2015. The quakes destroyed or damaged more than 800,000 houses mainly in the western and central districts, according to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). Government buildings, some stretches of roads and Kathmandu Valley's famous historic monuments - Unesco world heritage properties - were destroyed or damaged with many villages north of Kathmandu flattened. In the famous trekking destination of Langtang, which lies about 100km (62 miles) north of Kathmandu, an entire settlement was buried and washed away by a massive landslide, killing more than 100 people, including international trekkers and local villagers.

How many people are still homeless? 

Nepali government figures show that about 500,000 families were made homeless by the quakes. But aid agencies say the true figure is much higher, with millions homeless. The IFRC says "an estimated four million people are still living in sub-standard temporary shelters" where they're exposed to weather and health hazards. "Despite achievements in many areas of earthquake recovery efforts, little progress has so far been made in helping survivors to rebuild permanent homes," it said. BBC Photo