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One year on, quake victims still living in tents

Gorkha Post

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KATHMANDU — One year after 7.6 magnitude quake struck Nepal, an expected four million individuals are still living in sub-standard makeshift havens that pose a threat to their health and well-being.

On the commemoration of its worst natural disaster in living memory, the country is still in crisis.

The earthquake that killed almost 9,000 people and over 22,302 people were injured, a significant number of the people who lost their homes are still living in tents and under tarps.

More than 800,000 homes were damaged or destroyed in the earthquake and providing shelter remains the paramount humanitarian priority.

But despite achievements in many areas of earthquake recovery efforts, little progress has been made so far towards helping survivors rebuild permanent homes.

“Living under plastic shelters was never intended as a permanent solution,” said Dev Ratna Dhakwa, secretary general of Nepal Red Cross Society. “Our aim is to restore the dignity of survivors who have endured massive personal loss. To do this, they need to be reassured that they will have the security of a real home in near future.”

Several earthquake victims have had no Government help by any means.

Of the $4 billion pledged by international donors in rebuilding help, just $1 billion has been committed to rebuilding efforts.

The Government promised 200,000 Nepalese Rupees to each earthquake victim — but there was a catch.

The government could not appoint a chief to its National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) until December, with various political parties wasting eight months bickering over which of them would be represented in the top job.

ALSO READ :  UML to donate Rs. 5 million for quake victims
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Govt fixes 18 ministries including Office of PM in Center

Gorkha Post

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KATHMANDU — The government has fixed 18 ministries, including the Office of Prime Minister and Council of Ministers (OPMCM) from the current 30, at the central level, under the new federal setup.

A cabinet meeting held at the Prime Minister’s official residence at Baluwatar on Friday fixed the number of ministries including the OPMCM at 18.

The Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli decided to limit the Cabinet to 18 ministries, including the Prime Minister’s Office, according to Environment Minister Lal Babu Pandit.

“Now the number of ministries will be 18, with the OPMCM included,” Minister Pandit told reporters following the cabinet meeting.

The cabinet decision comes two days after leaders of the left alliance–CPN-UML and CPN (Maoist Center)–agreed to bring down the number of ministries to 18 at the federal level.

ALSO READ :  Hundreds mourn for quake victims

The new constitution has stated the central government can have a maximum of 25 ministers, including the prime minister.

Besides the OPMCM, the proposed 17 ministries are the federal affairs and general administration; ministries of finance and planning; foreign affairs; defense; physical infrastructure and transport; health and population; information and communications; law, justice and parliamentary affairs; culture, tourism and civil aviation; labor, employment, women and children; urban development, drinking water and sanitation; and agriculture, cooperatives and land management; education and sports; home affairs; forest and environment; water resources and energy; industry, commerce and supplies.

Likewise, the Cabinet meeting has also appointed CPN-UML politburo member Bishnu Rimal as Chief Political Advisor to PM. Earlier, Rimal had served as the chief political advisor during Oli’s previous premiership.

The decision will come into effect after the government endorses the proposal on the jurisdictions of the 17 ministries, according to OPMCM officials.

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