Nepal police devastated the largest remaining settlement of people displaced by a powerful earthquake that struck nearly two years ago on Wednesday. This move will leave over a hundred of people homeless.
The camp which was home to a hundred families in Kathmandu was demolished when police used bulldozers to smoothening out the structures. This brought in a whole new level of misery to the resident of the earthquake displaced camp. The residents were surprised to see bulldozers barging into their homes before they could collect their belongings.
“The gods will curse the government. We don’t have our home and can’t rent a room from our earnings in Kathmandu,” said Kabita Limbu, tears rolling down her face. Limbu’s tent was destroyed before the couple could go to retrieve their possessions.
Apsana Tamang, 19, was breastfeeding her one-year-old baby in her makeshift home when the authorities arrived early morning. “I have nowhere to live at my parents’ house in Kavre district was also damaged in the earthquake,” said Tamang, who was pregnant when the 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal killing more than 9,000 people.
The Nepal earthquake was one of the most powerful earthquakes in the Himalayas in 80 years which demolished thousands of lives in Nepal. Notably, International donors pledged $4.1 billion after the earthquake. But political wrangling over control of the funds and formation of the government body to oversee the reconstruction effort meant the first instalment of a housing grant were only paid out in March 2016.
The National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) has now distributed the first 50,000 rupees ($460) of a promised 300,000-rupee grant to around 550,000 households. The head of the NRA Govind Raj Pokharel told he had forwarded a proposal to the government to provide an extra 200,000 rupee grant to families who now needed to be relocated from the camp. But he acknowledged that the extra cash was not a panacea. “The main problem is there is limited options (to earn a) livelihood for the earthquake victims in their villages so they don’t want to return to their village,” Pokharel said.