In course of the response phase, the relationship between Nepal government and the international community was not encouraging.
There was the problem of mutual trust and allegation between the two sides. Actually, the government wanted to adopt one door policy. However, the relationship between the Nepal Government and International Community did improve as time elapsed. The highest-profile international donor conference ever held in the country amassed more than delegates from 56 nations, development partners and the donor community.
This has come as a huge relief to the reconstruction and recovery bid and brought cheers to the government. However, till now, except a small portion, the committed amount has not been provided by the international community to the Government of Nepal [ 2 ].
The roles and responsibilities of the NRA are to find out the total loss from the Gorkha earthquake; acquire necessary land following legal procedures; order concerned authority to remove physical structures after providing compensation to the owners; coordinate with different bodies for effective implementation of reconstruction work; order owners to remove their damaged structures or to remove them at their own cost; and direct the concerned agencies to accomplish necessary work of recovery providing them with necessary budget. During a disaster, obviously, the priority was to save lives and providing medical support to the injured.
In this respect, the government of Nepal did well. However, when it came to the relief works, it was caught in a midst of heavy criticism; and which was not without reason. Lack of proper management of relief goods, weak distribution mechanism, alleged corruption in procurement of tarpaulin sheets, tents for shelter and food etc.
Even the capital city where the Command and Control Centre was functioning, and all relief supplies landed at the nearby airport, people did suffer due to inadequate management of relief work. The performance outside the capital was even poorer [ 3 ]. The chaos continued for weeks and months. Even 3 months after the earthquake when rainy season had already begun, majority of the people lacked shelter. It is also important to note that the following five phases were adopted right after the Gorkha earthquake: Search and rescue as mentioned in above paragraph.
Humanitarian relief work immediate treatment, water, sanitation, shelter, food and protection. Early recovery part rehabilitation of schools, regaining access to health service, restarting and restarting business as usual. Recovery and reconstruction restructuring homes, buildings, infrastructure development etc.
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Long-term socio-economic development process restoring income, improving livelihood and so on. The recovery efforts are still underway in post-disaster setting. All identified recovery and reconstruction activities were expected to be completed on time, but it is being slow. The livelihood recovery strategy is being followed as a two-pronged approach—a livelihood restoration package and employment creation.
Similarly, owner driven reconstruction, integrated habitat approach, relocation of village, urban reconstruction to improve cultural settlement, cash transfer, community outreach, social inclusion and capacity build-up are main aspects.
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The NRA coordinating for interacting with the NGOs and civil society organizations and implement specific measures in partnership with these agencies were important policy approaches adopted during the rehabilitation and recovery phase [ 11 ]. Despite the claimed of lots of tasked achieved, many studies pointed out that satisfactory results have not been achieved as expected with NRA and much remain to be done.
In a big disaster, when the initial phase of SAR and immediate relief operations are over, rehabilitation and reconstruction phase begins seriously. For a successful implementation of this phase, a national government must show a firm commitment, careful planning and adequate resource mobilization. Rehabilitation and reconstruction is a long-term process, require a huge investment and it may last for years to complete. A low-income country like Nepal also needs to ensure financial resources not only from its internal resource but also through grants from international bi-lateral and multilateral agencies.
Several efforts have heightened in post-earthquake scenario since , by the government with support from international and national partners. Seventy seven percent of the earthquake-damaged houses are already rebuilt or being rebuilt, and people have taken ownership of this reconstruction campaign. The post-earthquake reconstruction could not gain momentum immediately due to institutional constraints and the lack of adequate resources. At the beginning, the absence of elected representatives of people at local levels and the lack of clear policies and procedures also slackened the speed of reconstruction.
Many people were exposed to risks due to poor shelter, poor hygiene, and trauma. Moreover, people did not receive recovery support immediately, and had to spend monsoon season without a house.
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Since political commitment has always been weak in Nepal, leaders often focused on party politics and direct their effort to change the government [ 12 ]. Consequently, weak government and leadership have direct effect in the reconstruction and recovery efforts. As Nepal was moving towards a new administrative set up and election process at that time, leaders could not give enough attention to reconstruction and recovery efforts.
Some weaknesses found in planning, coordination and management which need to be improved in the future [ 13 ]. The process of reconstruction of health facilities became a bit slow than expectation.
Earthquake Protection of Building Equipment and Systems: Bridging the Implementation Gap
The slow progress of post-earthquake reconstruction is in part the outcomes of resonant socio-political scuffles in the Nepali society identified mainly by following reasons. Firstly, political dysfunction has worsened in the post-earthquake time, and secondly, the lack of trust between the State and NGOs has led to many possible reconstruction projects being turned down.
In her presentation, she evidently linked this example with Ebola outbreak of Congruently, we observed some gaps on mutual trust among government, community and stakeholders in terms of system recovery process herein Nepal during the phases of post-earthquake. In other words, post-disaster governance has played a crucial role in the reconstruction performance [ 15 ]. However, the slow reconstruction pace has been met with substantial criticism both inside and outside Nepal, and many organizations, including donors, have urged the Nepali government to accelerate the reconstruction and the delivery of grants.
During this conclave, donor countries pledged nearly about 4. In return, the Nepali government promised to establish a national reconstruction authority that centrally governs all the reconstruction efforts; and to safeguard all the activities they carry out expeditiously and impartially.
Certainly, the government was able to quickly map the needs and damage immediately aftermath of the earthquake and communicate those needs to intercontinental contributors mainly for fund, which was promising. This makes it even more unsatisfactory that the rebuilding progress has been slow, despite the availability of wide resources [ 16 ].
In a resource-poor community, public involvement from inhabitants, NGOs and private sectors are crucial for post-disaster recovery cycle. An encouraging framework to govern NGOs that should have developed by the Nepal government so that they could have mobilized others to help the residents to rebuild their communities. Poor coordination among major reconstruction actors also influenced the promptness of work in terms of recovery work.
In such a way, the slow pace of progress has been blamed on a number of factors from the political willingness, to the lack of legal or administrative, resource and technical stuffs. Likewise, structural problems remain the same and we are too late in accomplishing the task in due time. There were psychosocial consequences of that devastating earthquake disaster. The nightmare and traumatic situation caused by the disaster upon many people particularly among the children and adolescents are still going on and may remain further. The below mentioned gaps and challenges were identified after the earthquake: Nepalese people showed resilient capacity and self-recovery from the earthquake.
Search and Rescue SAR works carried out by the security personnel of Nepal and others was commendable although it was slow and inadequate while they failed to reach in due time in the remote, rural and hilly areas. It was also compounded by the lack of equipment, road network, transport, and well-trained human resources. Gap between the need of the affected people and delivery of services was predominant all the time. Although there were foreign team members from 34 countries, they were able to save only 16 lives.
So the performance of the international SAR team is not encouraging. Emergency warehouses, prepositioning of relief materials with proper inventory were also lacking. Debris management was found as one of the big problem basically because of the lack of debris management equipment, tools and techniques.
A weak database and an absence of modern technology were other bottlenecks for effective response during Gorkha earthquake. Cumbersome administrative process between the government, donor agencies, contract agencies and beneficiaries were one of the problems to set-up the pre-fab buildings which delayed in restoring the schools and health facilities. Lack of awareness, preparedness as well as coordination among disaster management stakeholders was evident. Weak law enforcement and monitoring of building codes and town planning and lack of training for professionals in earthquake resistant construction practices have been found as the major factors of infrastructure damage; lack of adequate preparedness and response capacity among various stakeholders.
The biggest lesson is that to be safe from earthquake is to build earthquake resistant infrastructures. All most all casualties were due to the collapsed infrastructures.