Thousand of Nepalis gathered at Hanumandokha, Kathmandu, to light candles remembering their loved one who lost their lives on April 25, 2015, a dark day in the history of Nepal, on April 24, 2016. SCNs Aisha and Malini witnessed this moving act.
Lisa Perekkatt, SCN, connected with one of parents of Navjyoti Centre students who lost her husband along with five of his companions.
A visit to Koshidekha area, one of the severely affected VDC in Kavre district, a single mother, Kamla Tripati said that her life is no more the same since the first quake in April. She further said, I lost everything — my house, livestock, food grains, seeds, important documents — all that I worked hard to earn my entire life was gone with in a few minutes right in front of my eyes. I lived through the monsoon and the bitter winter under a tin-roof house.
Most of the people have not got the initial installments of Rs. 200,000/- from the government to make their houses. “Initially, the government would not allow me or any other NGOs to help me build my house,” said Gopal Mahto. Now that the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) allowed people to make their houses, I am finding it hard to find construction workers to complete my house, lamented Mr. Mahto.
Though donors promised 4.1 billion in aid, the government of Nepal was more affected by the political aftershocks in passing the new constitution. The government and the various political parties took a long time to appoint the NRA after the second great quake who in turn took their time to design a national building code that was acceptable to all.
It has been a year of tragedy for the people and nation for they went from the two great quakes to many after shocks, a heavy monsoon, a passing of the a Constitution of Nepal and the protests that followed afterwards, and the madeshi blockade, the final blow to the resilience of the people.
A year ago, nearly 9,000 thousand people died and more than 20,000 were injured when an earthquake struck Nepal. Around 770,000 families rendered homeless. Out of this only 700 have received first installment of the Rs. 200,000/ for rebuilding of the houses. In all, Nepal lost 38,000 classrooms to the earthquake.
In spite of all the government regulations, the Nazareth Sisters in Nepal built one of the completely damaged government primary schools with four classrooms and two toilets. They also repaired one of the damaged health post with an additional waiting room for the patients.
“The Sisters were the first ones to reach out to us on the fourth day of the quake. Since then, they have been with us, giving all the necessary immediate relief materials, psycho-social support for children and women, materials for temporary shelter, seeds, goats for livelihood, and now they have helped them to make cement blocks for construction of the 507 houses in Koshidekha VDC,” said resident, Shyam Bika.
It’s a long process to completely rebuild the people and their houses. The people, though restless and unhappy with the government apathy, they are grateful that they are alive and God has been good to them.
Written by Malini Manjoly, SCN