Angry protests erupt in Kathmandu over slow aid distribution

Tension runs high in Nepal as government fails to respond urgent needs rapidly

Updated Jul 28, 2015

A group of residents held a rally on Monday to protest Nepali government’s failure on distribution of aid rapidly after a massive earthquake hit the country.

More than 40 protesters expressed their frustration due to many Nepalis waiting for assistance and sleeping in scrappy tents for almost a week without any governmental attempt to improve their conditions.

A Kathmandu resident shared her unhappiness towards deficiency of effort by the government for providing help.   

"This protest is about distributions, which the government [is] not doing today. So we want that, because they are not doing any distributions," said 30-year-old Neeru Tsaba, one of the protester and a victim of the Nepal quake.

"Kind countries are helping us, and this is a good thing, but we have not received this help from the government. It has been five or six days since the earthquake, and we still have not been given tents or treatment. Injured people have been left a day and a half without treatment or tents," said another resident and quake victim.

Officials report that death toll of the devastating earthquake climbed 6,260 as number of the wounded passed over the 9,200. Eight million Nepalis were affected by the devastating earthquake and one million children urgently in need of help.

"Morgues are full beyond capacity and we have been given instruction to incinerate bodies immediately after they are pulled out," said Raman Lal, an Indian paramilitary force official working in coordination with Nepali forces.

The country army chief said casualties may reach up to 15,000 on Tuesday in an interview with a news channel.   

"Our estimates are not looking good," said General Gaurav Rana, who is leading the nationwide rescue effort. 

"We are thinking that 10,000 to 15,000 may be killed." 

Rana accepted that the government is struggling to manage public emergency among the risk of disease and growing public anger against rescue effort.

He said he could understand anger of the people against government's response and underlined that “Army is working with the police to identify local hot spots and control things [politically]."

It seems the government may continue to face with many demonstrations unless it finds financial assistance to meet the expectations. Hundreds of residents came together outside the parliament also on Wednesday to urge the government to improve aid distribution.   

Finance Minister Ram Sharan Mahat said cost of reconstruction would be at least $2 billion, seeking international demand. According to a United Nations report, more than 600,000 houses have been affected badly by Saturday’s earthquake.

"This is just an initial estimate and it will take time to assess the extent of damage and calculate the cost of rebuilding," Mahat told Reuters.

The UN reported that more than 2 million Nepalis have needed tents, water, food and medicines over the next three months .

TRTWorld and agencies