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.Follow @gorkhapost
Deadly Nipah virus claims 12 in Indian state of Kerala
NEW DELHI — At least 12 people in India have died from a rare deadly and contagious virus known as Nipah virus, according to news reports.
Four deaths were reported on Monday, including of a nurse who treated the three initial infections at the EMS Cooperative Hospital in Perambra. The death of the nurse triggered panic among hospital staff who have had their leaves cancelled to treat the sick, Hindustan Times reported
Two deaths were reported from Kozhikode and four from Malappuram district. At least six persons are in critical condition and another 20 are under observation, state health officials said.
It was recorded in Siliguri district in West Bengal in 2001 and is being suspected in Kerala now, according to media reports
Humans get infected by consuming fruit or date-palm sap contaminated by infected bats but while human-to-human transmission through body fluids is rare.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Nipah virus infection is an emerging disease that was first identified in 1999 during an outbreak among pig farmers in Malaysia and Singapore.
The virus is thought to naturally infect fruit bats (of the genus Pteropus), but it can also infect pigs and other domesticated animals, as well as humans, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The virus can also spread from person to person.
CDC says Nipah virus can cause an inflammation of the brain known as encephalitis. Symptoms can include fever and headache, followed by drowsiness, disorientation and confusion. People who are infected with the virus may fall into a coma within 48 hours of showing symptoms, the CDC says.
The virus can be highly lethal, with an average fatality rate of around 75 percent, according to the WHO.Follow @gorkhapost