IMPACT

Year After Nepal Earthquake, About 3 Million People Still Living In Temporary Shelters

Rebuilding efforts have been delayed by internal political upheaval.
Nepalese residents lie in a temporary shelter at a relief camp for earthquake survivors in Kathmandu on May 21, 2015, after m
Nepalese residents lie in a temporary shelter at a relief camp for earthquake survivors in Kathmandu on May 21, 2015, after multiple earthquakes struck the Himalayan nation. Nearly 8,500 people have now been confirmed dead in the disasters, which destroyed more than half a million homes and left huge numbers of people without shelter with just weeks to go until the monsoon rains. AFP PHOTO/ISHARA S. KODIKARA (Photo credit should read Ishara S.KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, April 20 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A year after a deadly earthquake flattened cities and villages in Nepal, rebuilding efforts must be speeded up to lift millions of survivors out of misery, aid groups said on Wednesday.

Reconstruction is just getting underway in many areas of the tiny Himalayan nation, and some three million people are living in temporary shelters with tarpaulin roofs, according to Save the Children, CARE International and others.

The earthquake that struck on April 25, 2015 killed some 9,000 people and injured more than 22,000 others, according to the United Nations and government figures.

The quake damaged or destroyed more than 900,000 houses.

A Nepalese labourer works on bamboo scaffolding during repairs to a temple damaged in an earthquake at the village of Khokana
A Nepalese labourer works on bamboo scaffolding during repairs to a temple damaged in an earthquake at the village of Khokana, on the outskirts of Kathmandu on August 14, 2015. Twin earthquakes which struck the Himalayan nation in April and May, killed more than 8,800 people, destroyed nearly half a million houses and damaged another 280,000, leaving thousands in need of food, clean water and shelter. AFP PHOTO / Prakash MATHEMA (Photo credit should read PRAKASH MATHEMA/AFP/Getty Images)

"Having already braved a very cold winter... (survivors) are now facing the prospect of another monsoon season, which will start in June," said Delailah Borja, country director for the international Save the Children in a statement.

Donors have pledged $4.1 billion for reconstruction, but rebuilding has been delayed by internal political upheaval. The nation has been in turmoil since a new constitution was adopted last September.

The delays in reconstruction have been blamed for more than a dozen deaths this winter, mostly of elderly people.

Save the Children expressed concern over certain communities that have been marginalized in the relief effort.

"For example, cash handouts were payable only to the owner of the house, meaning those who were renting ... didn't get the money they so desperately needed," Borja said.

CARE International voiced concern that women and girls in particular were suffering since the disaster.

"Landless women and girls are the most vulnerable in this situation," said Lora Wuennenberg, CARE's country director for Nepal, in a statement.

Unmarried, widowed and divorced women have had only limited access to relief measures, according to UN Women.

The U.N. has reported an increase in domestic violence against women since the earthquake.

Four out of five Nepalese quake survivors report their reconstruction needs are not being addressed, according to data collected by #quakeHelpDesk, an initiative led by the Accountability Lab, a technology incubator, and Local Interventions Group.

(Reporting by Sebastien Malo, Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's rights, trafficking, property rights and climate change. Visit http://news.trust.org)

 

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Nepal Earthquake, May 12, 2015
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