In The News (6)

Tested and failed
Govt ineptitude has been on display, but it is the prime minister who has been found most wanting ..... For starters, at a later date someone has to be held accountable for failing to immediately inform our prime minister about the quake. ...... The papers and social media are awash with stories of one contradictory government position after another. Instead of a government in action, we have seen a government in reaction. Time after time, it has announced a policy only to modify it in response to a barrage of criticism. ...... That he was able to come up with a most insipid address to the nation more than three days after the earthquake was one thing. But to spend so much time thanking each and every country by name, a task that would be more complete and doable at a later date, just took away from the main message that Nepalis had been expecting to hear—that we have a functioning government which will do everything possible to help the affected. ....... The last thing Koirala did was inspire confidence that we have someone in charge who knows what he is doing and is doing the best he can. It is no wonder that parts of the government continued to function with a similar lethargy. ....... Speaking to a group of party leaders at Charikot, the best he could come up with was, “You should come and see where I am staying [ie, the prime minister’s quarters]. The walls are all cracked. Imagine, how I have been living!” ....... the only way to stave off a huge loss of life and property is to knock down old buildings and retrofit those that can be retrofitted. ....... “If we had had money we would have built a strong house. But we had none.” ..... what in all reckoning was not the Big One that experts had been predicting ...... The chaos that engulfed our government machinery became apparent when the numerous search and rescue teams arrived. Rather than fan them out throughout the country, since time is the crucial factor during such an effort, almost all these teams wandered around the capital, looking for someone to save. As the New York Times reported, “A team of the United States’ most renowned search-and-rescue workers drove into the shattered city of Bhaktapur on Wednesday [29 April]…They brought with them sniffer dogs trained to detect live bodies, acoustic and seismic listening devices designed to pick up noises from entombed victims, and engineers capable of cutting through six-inch walls of reinforced concrete…But the next three hours brought a slow deflation, as they bumped into other international crews…” And, all the while, locals across the devastated zone were digging through the rubble and saving lives with the most rudimentary tools............. in the case of a colleague of mine who lost a cousin in Nuwakot. The young boy had been out in the open when the earthquake struck and probably remembering what he had been taught at school ran into a house to get under a bed before the building collapsed on him.
Budhanilkantha alumni offer assistance to Sindhupalchok
The relief material was handed over to the army at the Bhimkali Barracks in Melamchi on Tuesday. The barracks currently function as the distribution centre for relief items in the area. After the relief freight is entered into the books maintained by the army, an all-party relief distribution mechanism formed at the level of the constituency decides on the amount of material to be distributed in the VDCs based on their population size. The politicians then send word to the VDC secretaries and the VDC-level all-party mechanism..... Sindhupalchok has more than 66,000 households, with more than 287,000 people in total. With almost all the households affected, the district will need at least a tarpaulin sheet for every household.
सहयोग पारदर्शी हुने संरचना बनाउन एमालेको माग
How not to rebuild Nepal
Last Saturday, I watched with the rest of the world as images emerged in the wake of Nepal’s violent earthquake: the dusty faces of survivors, bloodied bodies, the ruined historic buildings. It reminded me of the devastation I witnessed after the earthquake in my homeland, Haiti, five years ago — and it made me worry about what will come next in Nepal.......... I hope that they will be able to avoid the grave mistakes made by Haitians and by the well-intentioned donors who came to our aid. ..... here were two disasters in Haiti: the earthquake, and then the humanitarian crisis that followed. More than $10 billion in foreign aid still hasn’t enabled our country to recover from this disaster. ...... Most aid projects in Haiti promised “community participation,” yet most failed to truly include local people. What happened with housing provides a clear example. Many aid groups insisted on moving earthquake survivors who were living under tarps into “transitional shelters.” They ignored the objections of Haitians, who feared the flimsy plywood structures — prone to leaks and collapse — would become their permanent homes. Aid groups spent more than $500 million on these transitional shelters,” but have built less than 9,000 new long-term houses. Tragically, yesterday’s “temporary” shelters have become today’s permanent slums. ........ Many aid groups sent well-meaning but barely trained volunteers and deployed foreign doctors and nurses to areas where skilled Haitian professionals were readily available. Of every dollar given to the earthquake response in Haiti, less than a penny went to Haitian organizations........ If these funds had supported local people and organizations, the money would have gone much further. ........ Most aid after the earthquake focused on the short term, often ignoring long-term needs, especially infrastructure needed to prevent humanitarian crises in the future. My country is still struggling to contain the largest modern outbreak of cholera in history. The disease is thought to have been introduced by United Nations peacekeeping forces after the 2010 earthquake, but the crisis does not end there. This epidemic has continued largely because relief funds have unfortunately not been used to help Haiti build sufficient sewage systems. ............ Though coordinating aid seems like the most obvious thing to do, it didn’t happen in Haiti. Many aid groups clamored to support high-profile projects, which resulted in wasteful redundancies in some areas while allowing people in less well-known places to languish. Lack of accountability about foreign aid was the rule, with donors and Haitians receiving little news about how this aid was being spent.
Nepal 2015 Earthquake Update: Thousands Mark End To 13-Day Mourning Period, Death Toll Crosses 8,400
The death toll from the magnitude-7.8 quake has climbed to 8,413 in the Himalayan nation alone ...... the Cuban government announced it will send a 48-member medical team to help Nepal cope with the task of treating the more than 16,000 people injured in the deadliest earthquake to hit Nepal in 80 years. The Cuban medical team will include 22 doctors and a field hospital equipped with a surgery unit, an intensive care unit, and X-ray and ultrasound equipment. The field hospital will also have consulting and rehabilitation facilities ....... Nepal's central bank announced a low-cost loan to help people rebuild homes they lost in the earthquake. The loan will charge a 2 percent interest rate compared to an average commercial interest rate of 10 percent. A bank official also told state-run Radio Nepal that people in Kathmandu could avail up to $25,000 and those outside the capital could avail up to $15,000 in loans
Crowdfunded Campaigns For Nepal Are Huge. Is That A Good Way To Give?
Crowdfunding was widely popular in 2012 after Hurricane Sandy. But the magnitude of mini-campaigns for the Nepal disaster is unprecedented ...... GoFundMe alone has more than 700 individual campaigns and 45,000 donors who've collectively raised $3.5 million for Nepal. And Todi's campaign on Indiegogo Life is one of more than 100. Some of Ward's own friends on Facebook are simply asking for people to send donations to their bank accounts. ...... there's no evidence that donating to small campaigns makes a bigger impact on ground. ...... recommends donating to established charities because there's too much risk with individual campaigns. "There's no vetting in the front end and no insurance on [the] back end that people will actually use the money for what they say they will" ........ asking for donations via a check or direct transfer into his or her bank account is a huge red flag. ..... an international aid agency that's dealt with disasters before is a better choice than a small charity. "You may have only one runway available for deliveries, and places may be inaccessible immediately because roads are now broken," he says. "Well guess what? If they are impassable to the staff at established charities, they're probably going to be impassable to other charities there." ....... And he's keeping his donors updated with videos, photos and written notes.
They’re killing Kathmandu (2010)
Kathmandu has no future as a humanly habitable city. .... Its air is becoming increasingly unbreathable. It is running out of its water. The noise pollution has become the number one cause of deafness among an increasingly large number of the city’s population. Incidences of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases have skyrocketed during the last two decades. It has become a rare event to meet a healthy person in this city these days. ..... The major reason this city will go down in history as one of the most uninhabitable places on earth is the way we are making buildings. When you make money, what do you do? Build a house. When you make a lot of money, what do you do? Build more houses. ...... That’s what a friend of mine did in the last two years. Awash with money from his job at a UN agency, he built one house for his sister, another for his brother and two for himself. ...... “Anil-ji, I am, however, planning to live in Chitwan,” he said. ...... During the last four years, there has been a phenomenal growth of buildings across the valley. ..... The mighty Himalaya lies at the northern margin of the Indian tectonic plate, and much of Nepal’s landmass falls at its centre. This plate is advancing towards the north at about 5 cm a year. ...... This movement of the earth’s crust has made it one of the most seismically active geographies in the world. Thousands of tremors occur every year with occasional major ones. ..... The oldest recorded one occurred around 1255 AD according to the Gopalrajvanshabali. One third of the valley’s population perished together with its temples and other public monuments. During the “nabbe saalko bhuichalo” (the earthquake of 1990 Bikram Sambat, that is 1934 AD), over four thousand people died. Tens of thousands of houses were destroyed either partially or fully, among them about five hundred public monuments. There have been major earthquakes in the 1980s. ....... Six months after a major earthquake hit Haiti’s Port au Prince, less than 5 percent of its rubble has been cleared. One estimate shows that even with more than a thousand high-powered trucks working 24/7, it will take six years to remove all the rubble. Let’s not forget Kathmandu is not Port au Prince. Port au Prince has a long coastline. Rubble can be dumped into the sea. Where will Kathmandu’s rubble be dumped?
The Public Service
Perhaps it's a wake-up call. Seismologists are telling that big as it was, Saturday's tremor wasn't really the Big One that everyone has been fearing for several decades. That means there is still time to make amends and prepare.
दाता-सरकार किचलो
दातृ निकायले सरकारी संयन्त्र अस्वीकार गरी सिधै आफू या निकटका अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय/राष्ट्रिय गैससबाट भूकम्प पीडित सहायता खर्च गर्ने रणनीति लिएपछि विवाद उत्पन्न भएको छ। एकाधबाहेकका दातृ निकायले घोषित सहायता रकम प्रधानमन्त्री दैवी प्रकोप राहत तथा पुनःस्थापना कोषमा जम्मा गर्न चाहेका छैनन्।...... भूकम्प पीडितको पुनःस्थापना र ध्वस्त संरचना पुनर्निर्माण गर्न सहयोग परिचालन प्रक्रियालाई लिएर सरकार र दातृ निकायबीच विवाद उत्पन्न भएको हो। तीन दर्जन मुलुक र २० अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय दातृ संस्थाले उल्लेख्य भौतिक सहयोग घोषणा गरेका छन्। तर उनीहरूले पुनःस्थापना र ध्वस्त भौतिक संरचना पुनर्निर्माणका निम्ति आफूनिकट संस्थाबाट सहायता परिचालन गर्न खोजेका छन्। ....... दातृ पक्षले आफूखुसी हालीमुहाली गर्न खोजेको बुझाइ सरकारको छ। त्यो तरिकाबाट प्रशासनिक खर्च अधिक हुने र अत्यन्त न्यून रकम पीडितसम्म पुग्ने सरकारको भनाइ छ। ....... दातृ पक्षले चाहिँ सरकारी कर्मचारीतन्त्र अत्यन्त सुस्त र गाउँहरू जनप्रतिनिधिविहीन अवस्थामा रहेको भन्दै आफैं सहयोग परिचालन गर्ने अडान राख्दै आएको छ। ..... अमेरिकी राजदूत पिटर डब्लू बोडीले हालै प्रधानमन्त्रीसँगको भेटमा आफूहरू सरकार, गैरसरकारी संस्था र आफ्ना तर्फबाट समेत सहयोग गरेर पुनःस्थापना तथा पुनर्निर्माणमा संलग्न हुन चाहेको बताएका थिए। बेलायत, युरोपेली युनियन र राष्ट्रसंघले समेत आफैं काम गर्ने भन्दै सरकारलाई दबाब दिइरहेको एक अधिकारीले बताए। ...... सरकारले सरकारी च्यानलकै एकद्वार खर्च प्रणाली कायम गर्ने अडान राखेका कारण दाताहरूले 'सहयोग रकमको कम्तीमा ३२ प्रतिशत गैरसरकारी संस्थाबाट खर्च पाउने भन्ने एटलान्टिक कमिटीको निर्णय' देखाउन थालेका छन्। ...... द्वन्द्वकालमा ध्वस्त भौतिक संरचना पुनर्निर्माणका निम्ति गठित शान्ति कोषको रकम आफ्नो ढंगले खर्च गर्न नपाएपछि दातृ मुलुकले केही समयअघि मात्रै त्यसबाट हात झिकेको थिए। दातृ पक्ष भूकम्प सहायतामा पनि त्यस्तो अवस्था नआओस् भनेर मन्त्री, राजनीतिक दलका नेतासँग लबिङमा लागिसकेको स्रोतहरू बताउछन्। अमेरिका र बेलायतका राजदूतले यसै सन्दर्भमा प्रधानमन्त्री सुशील कोइरालालाई भेटिसकेका छन्। सरकार त्यस्तो कुरा नमान्ने, बरु विकास बजेट उपयोग गरेर भए पनि पुनर्निर्माणमा जाने मनस्थितिमा छ। ...... भूकम्पबाट ध्वस्त संरचनाको पुनर्निर्माणका निम्ति सरकारले २ खर्बको कोष घोषणा गरेको छ। सरकारले त्यसमा २० अर्ब रकम राखिसकेको छ र सहयोगका निम्ति सबै दातृ पक्षलाई आह्वान गरिसकेको छ। सरकार यही कोषमार्फत खर्च गर्ने तयारीमा छ। ...... भारत, चीन, अमेरिका, बेलायत, जापान, जर्मनी, श्रीलंका, दक्षिण कोरिया, सिंगापुर, क्यानडा, नेदरल्यान्ड, अल्जेरिया, थाइल्यान्ड, पाकिस्तान, म्यानमार, बंगलादेश, भुटान, माल्दिभ्स, फ्रान्स, स्विट्जरल्यान्ड, युरोपेली युनियन, संयुक्त राष्ट्रसंघ।
विपद् व्यवस्थापनमा कहाँ चुक्यो सरकार
विकासको तिव्र गतिमा रहेको चीनको सिचुवान प्रान्तमा सन् २००८ मा भूइँचालो जाँदा पनि सरकारी टोली ७ दिनपछि मात्र गाउँमा पुगेको थियो। ....... महाविपत्तिको बेला सरकारले आफ्नो स्रोत साधनबाट व्यवस्थापन गर्न सक्दैन र संकटग्रस्त क्षेत्र घोषणा गरेर विदेशी सहयोग आह्वान गर्छ। हामीले पनि यस्तै बेलामा काम गर्नका लागि प्रधानमन्त्रीको मातहत राष्ट्रिय विपद् व्यवस्थापन परिषद् बनाएका छौं। परिषदले महाविपत्तिका बेला आकस्मिक रुपमा विपद्पछि के कसरी अगाडि बढ्ने भन्ने आकस्मिक योजना बनाउने र नेतृत्व गर्नुपर्ने हो। तोकेको जिम्मेवारी अनुसार अहिले परिषदले प्रभावकारी रुपमा काम गरिरहेको जस्तो देखिन्न। ...... भूकम्प गएको दिन प्रधानमन्त्री बैंककमा हुनुहुन्थ्यो। अर्को दिन नेपाल फर्कनु भयो। उहाँले विमानस्थलबाटै राष्ट्रका नाममा सम्बोधन गरेर सरकार विपद्का बेला कसरी जनतालाई उद्धार तथा राहत दिन्छ भन्ने विषयमा उल्लेख गर्नुपथ्र्यो। त्यसपछि पनि सरकारले यो विपत्तिमा जनतालाई कसरी सहयोग गर्छ केही खाका आउनु पथ्र्यो। आजसम्म पनि परिषद्ले कुन–कुन तरिका अपनाएर कहिलेसम्म पीडितलाई राहत दिने भन्ने विषयमा ठोस योजना बनाउन सकेको देखिदैन्। ....... गृह मन्त्रालय अन्तर्गत राष्ट्रिय विपद् व्यवस्थापन समिति रहेको छ। विपद्का बेला उद्धार तथा राहत कार्यमा सो समितिले नेतृत्व गरी सेना, प्रहरी लगायतका अरु संस्थालाई परिचालन गर्नु पर्ने हो। समिति आफैंले विपद्मा काम लाग्ने कुनै सामग्री स्टक राखेको छैन्। सेना र प्रहरीसँग भएका सामग्री पनि प्रभावकारी रुपले प्रयोग हुन सकेन्। महाभूकम्पपछि ज्यान जोगाएर टुँडिखेल, रंगशाला लगायतका ठाउँमा खुला आकाशमुनि बसेका मानिसलाई सेनाको सिहंदरबारलगायत राजधानीमा रहेका गणमा भएका हजारौं त्रिपाल र रासन बाँड्न सकिन्थ्यो। किन बाडिएन? त्यसको कारण सम्बन्धित निकायबीच समन्वय हुन नसक्नु नै हो।.......विपद्का बेला तीनदिनसम्म नागरिकले आफ्नो जोहो आफैं गर्नु पर्यो। तेस्रो दिनपछिमात्र टुँडिखेलमा सेनाले पाल टाँग्यो। सिंहदरबारमा सेनालाई ती महिना पुग्ने रासन थियो। रासनबाट नागरिकलाई एक छाक तातो भात खुवाउन सकिन्थ्यो। नागरिकले राहत पनि पाउँथे,सरकार र सुरक्षा निकायप्रतिको जनविश्वास पनि चुलिन्थ्यो। ...... गृह मन्त्रालय अन्तर्गतकै उद्धार तथा राहत व्यवस्थापन समितिले पनि भूकम्पछि अपेक्षाकृत भूमिका खेल्न सकेको देखिएन। सेना र सशस्त्र प्रहरीसँग भएको उद्धार टोली सामान्य खालको मात्र हो। शहरी संरचना भत्किएर हुने विपद्का बेला यी टोलीले राम्ररी काम गर्न सक्दैनन्। स्रोत साधन र प्रविधि त अपर्याप्त नै छ। त्यसका बाबजुद् उनीहरुले राम्रै काम गरे। १सय २८ घण्टापछि पनि जीवित उद्धार गर्न सफल भए। उद्धारको ’अपरेसन’ सीमित ठाउँमा मात्र भयो। सबैतिर फैलिएर उद्धार गरेको भए झन राम्रो हुन्थ्यो। ........ राहत सामग्री प्रमुख जिल्ला अधिकारीको मातहतमा थन्किएको खबर आइरहेको छ। ...... प्रहरीले आफ्नै तरिकाले, सेनाले आफ्नै तरिकाले, सशस्त्रले आफ्नै तरिकाले सूचना सार्वजनिक गरिरहेका छन्। विदेशी मिडियामा सूचना प्रवाहित गर्दा पनि निश्चित मापदण्ड बनाउनु पर्छ। त्यसैगरी जनतालाई सरकारले गरिरहेका काम र आगामी योजनाका बारे पनि सूचना प्रवाह गर्नुपर्छ। ....... चीनको सिचुवान प्रान्तमा आएको सन् २००८ मे १२ को भूकम्पको तीन वर्ष नबित्दै उनीहरुले सबै संरचना पूनर्निमाण गरी त्यहाँका जनताको आर्थिक अवस्था अन्य प्रान्तका जनताको बराबर बनाएका छन्। जापान लगायतका देशले पनि प्राकृतिक विपत्तिपछि नै आर्थिक पूनर्जिवन पाएका उदाहरण छन्।

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