Nepal should grab opportunity to rebuild stronger, says Oxfam
The international community must support the Nepalese government to grasp a golden opportunity to rebuild the country and make it more resilient to future disasters, Oxfam and local organizations said today ahead of a donors' conference tomorrow.
Two months on from the first massive earthquake, people still need humanitarian aid, but the focus must also expand to rebuilding – not just homes but also livelihoods and basic services. Donors and the Government of Nepal need to agree a long-term investment plan to rebuild stronger and get people back on their feet.
Bimal Gadal, Humanitarian Program Manager for Oxfam in Nepal, said: “The Nepalese people know their needs better than anyone and their voices must be heard when donors meet in Kathmandu. They have been through an ordeal, and now it is time to start rebuilding lives.
“This conference is a golden opportunity to get people back on their feet and better prepared for the future.
“This can only happen if the Government of Nepal is supported to create new jobs, build improved basic services like hospitals and clinics, and to ensure all new buildings are earthquake-resilient.”
Since 25 April, Oxfam and its partner organizations in Nepal have delivered essential aid to more than 270,000 people in seven of the worst-affected districts. This aid has included emergency shelters, hygiene kits, clean water and food and sanitation facilities.
Lajana Manandhar, Executive Director of Lumanti, a Nepali organization which works with Oxfam, said: “Being prepared works. Together with Oxfam we have trained over 2,000 volunteers in communities, equipping them with the right tools and skills so they can react quickly in case of a disaster. Within a few hours of the earthquake, volunteers were helping rescue survivors, administering First Aid, building latrines and even mending water pipes in the Kirtipur area of Kathmandu.”
Jagan Nath Kurmi, Chairperson of the National Network of Community Disaster Management Committee (NCDMC), said: “We hope the delegates will discuss how Nepal can be supported to protect its people from other disasters in the future. There must be a strong disaster management law that provides adequate resources for preparing for future disasters. Now we have the opportunity to really make this happen.”
Notes to editors
On Thursday 25 June, the Government of Nepal will host its first donors' conference since a series of deadly earthquakes hit the country. The conference, named International Conference on Nepal’s Reconstruction: Towards a Resilient Nepal, will bring together delegates from governments and international organizations around the world.
Oxfam and its partners are working in seven of the worst-hit districts in Nepal. So far Oxfam has helped more than 270,000 people in Nepal and is aiming to reach 400,000 by the end of August. As well as distributing tarpaulins, hygiene kits, food and clean water, it has been supporting farmers to sow new crops for the coming year.
Oxfam has worked in Nepal for over 30 years, empowering women to claim their rights, helping small-scale farmers cope with the effects of climate change, and supplying clean water to remote communities.
In recent years, Oxfam has also been helping communities to prepare for earthquakes, epidemics, floods and landslides. As part of its programme in the Kathmandu Valley, Oxfam and its partners have built three earthquake-proof water points. This has allowed them to deliver clean water to thousands of people in the wake of two earthquakes and more than 100 aftershocks.
The LUMANTI- Support Group for Shelter (Lumanti) is a Nepali non-government organization working to alleviate urban poverty in Nepal through improving shelter conditions and coordinating community based disaster resilience program with a particular focus on grassroots women led disaster mitigation activities.
The National Network of Community Disaster Management Committee (NCDMC) is a network of disaster victims working in communities across Nepal, to ensure the voices of those impacted by disasters such as earthquakes are represented in decision making by Government of Nepal.
For updates, please follow @OxfamIndia.