“Our street was unreconisable because all the houses had collapsed and there was rubble everywhere, but now Sankhu is looking much better thanks to the gods,” says 70-year-old Daya Laxmi Sharma, whose family survived even though the home was destroyed. The reconstruction is partially complete, and the family has had to sell part of the property to be able to afford to rebuild.
Some survivors are waiting to rebuild because the government’s compensation of Rs300,000 in three tranches is slow in coming and is not enough. Indira Maya Shrestha, 60, lives a house that has now been divided into three portions by inheritance. She only got Rs15,000 from the government, which was her share, and it has all been spent.
“Sankhu looks more prosperous, but I don’t know how safe these tall new buildings will be in the next earthquake,” she says.
In his office Mayor Shrestha looks like someone who is used to hearing complaints. He says: “Obviously the 300,000 was never going to be enough to rebuild a home, but we managed to convince people that it was just a small help for them to initiate reconstruction.”