Two years on, Nepal struggles with earthquake reconstruction efforts

The government has been spending money to repair the damage caused by the 2015 earthquake that claimed 9,000 lives, but people in rural areas say not enough is being done to help them.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

International donors blame the slow pace of reconstruction on numerous factors, including political infighting, bureaucracy, poor management of funds and a lack of building materials.

On April 25, 2015, a 7.6 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal, toppling buildings in the capital Kathmandu and flattening mud-and-brick homes in remote villages. The temblor killed 9,000 people. 

Since then, the government has been spending money through the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) to repair the affected areas. While money has been released for building in Kathmandu and some outlying areas, the reconstruction of villages has been slow. 

The NRA is accused of applying a one-size-fits-all policy. Its payment policies and other bureaucratic hurdles hinder reconstruction efforts in rural areas. 

International donors, who have pledged over $4 billion towards the estimated $9 billion required, blame the slow pace of reconstruction on multiple factors, including political infighting, bureaucracy and poor management of funds. The donors also cite a lack of building materials such as concrete, wood and steel, and few trained masons, carpenters and engineers as a major hindrance.

Overall, less than 100,000 of the 525,000 required houses have been rebuilt or are under construction in one of the poorest countries of the world.

TRT World ’s Nick Davies-Jones reports.

TRTWorld and agencies