Dijan Bhattarai of the NDRMMA in Kathmandu blames the 20 November general elections for the delayed response, but adds that reconstruction work will be done by July 2023. “But we are conducting a preliminary survey. Reconstruction will take place after we prepare the damage report to find long-term solutions,” he says.
The Authority has been providing Rs500,000 for houses destroyed due to heavy rains, Rs400,000 in the hills, and Rs300,000 in Tarai. But there are no such provisions yet for earthquakes. Delays, poor management and lack of relief will only exacerbate the problem.
“With migration comes the problem of social dislocation, low production, increase in criminal activities, competition for opportunities, unbalanced population,” says sociologist Ram Gurung. “Even if reconstruction or other jobs cannot be created quickly, it is necessary to properly counsel people affected.”
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Out-migration in Doti predates the latest earthquake. Sanju Thapa, ward chair of Patalkot in Sanfebagar, says many families have been concerned about increasing risk of landslides and other disasters. Over hundred of the 566 families in Patalkot have relocated in the last few years, and 90 more are planning to leave following the quake.
A landslide in 2010 killed 10 people of the same family in Patalkot. Some hundred houses were at risk, but nothing was done in lack of proper research and evaluation, adds Thapa.