Nepal starts rebuilding homes and heritage sites a year after earthquake

Nepal starts rebuilding homes and heritage sites a year after earthquake
A monk looks at the reconstruction work at the Boudhanath Stupa which was damaged in last year's earthquake. Pic: AP

Key heritage sites in and around Kathmandu that were damaged by a devastating earthquake one year ago are finally set to be reconstructed, Nepal's prime minister has said.

Khadga Prasad Oli made the announcement as he offered prayers at the 17th century white-walled Anantapur temple, which was damaged in the magnitude 7.8 quake on April 25, 2015, along with more than 600 other historic structures.

More than half a million homes were also destroyed, but hardly any have been rebuilt.

Nepal has been criticised for delays in reconstruction - largely due to bureaucratic bungling - of its historic structures and residents' homes despite foreign donors pledging US$4.1bn (€3.6bn) towards that end.

Aid groups have demanded that authorities speed up the process and change some of the laws that have become obstacles.

Mr Oli said today that work would begin on rebuilding the temple and three other heritage sites in Kathmandu, including the old palaces and temples at Kathmandu's Durbar Square and key sites in the nearby cities of Patan and Bhaktapur.

Anantapur is one of the small Buddhist temples, stupas and monasteries surrounding the fifth-century hilltop shrine of Swayambhunath that lies in ruins.

The site is also called the "monkey shrine" for the thousands of monkeys that congregate on the spot at the north-west edge of Kathmandu. It is listed among the Unesco heritage sites.

The prime minister said the work would progress swiftly, adding it was a huge task that would require time.

He also said the construction of private houses has been initiated in 10 districts to mark the anniversary.

Earthquake victims' camps are seen in Chuchepati, Kathmandu, Nepal, today. Pic: AP
Earthquake victims' camps are seen in Chuchepati, Kathmandu, Nepal, today. Pic: AP

According to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, an estimated four million people are still living in sub-standard temporary shelters in conditions that pose a threat to their health and well-being.

Only 661 families have received the first instalment of a 200,000-rupee (£1,300) government grant, getting 50,000 rupees (£325) so far.

Out of the 4.1 billion dollars pledged, Nepal has so far received just 1.28 billion dollars (£890 million).

The delay in getting the money has been blamed on the government taking months to set up the National Reconstruction Authority, which was done only in December.

More on this topic

Nepal reopens tourist sites damaged in quakeNepal reopens tourist sites damaged in quake

Bodies found near Nepal crash helicopterBodies found near Nepal crash helicopter

Longford climber blames 'political nonsense' for hindering Nepal aidLongford climber blames 'political nonsense' for hindering Nepal aid

US rescue helicoptor missing in NepalUS rescue helicoptor missing in Nepal

More in this Section

US state of Virginia marks 400th anniversary of slave ship arrivalUS state of Virginia marks 400th anniversary of slave ship arrival

Johnson’s first summit as PM sees clash with Tusk over Brexit blameJohnson’s first summit as PM sees clash with Tusk over Brexit blame

Tusk and Johnson clash over who will be to blame in case of no-deal BrexitTusk and Johnson clash over who will be to blame in case of no-deal Brexit

Prince Andrew insists he never suspected paedophile Jeffrey EpsteinPrince Andrew insists he never suspected paedophile Jeffrey Epstein


Lifestyle

In August 1969, headlines were dominated by Northern Ireland and the beginnings of what was to become known as “the Troubles”.August 26, 2019: A look back at what happened on this day in years gone by

Hundreds of grey seals, the ‘people of the sea’, haul out on Great Blasket’s Trá Bán.Blasket Island seals have cousins in Namibia

More From The Irish Examiner