Lamjung, June 2, 2016:Â Sabita Gurung, a local of Ilampokhari VDC in Lamjung district, lost her house to the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake in April last year.
The government had promised a relief package for all quake victims. However, after waiting in vain for over a year for the government to make good on its promises, local quake victims have finally started to build their own houses.
As the monsoon advances, quake victims of various villages in the district have now started to build their houses on their own or taking out loans.
Locals of the highly-affected areas, including Ilampokhari, Bichaur, Dudhpokhari, Gauda, Parjung, and Pachowk, could be seen building their house determined to complete the construction before the monsoon begins. Some have already completed the construction process.
â€œMany of us had hoped to build a permanent house by investing their own money on top of the government’s promised grant. But local authorities say the amount hasn’t been released by higher authorities,â€ said Man Bahadur Gale, ward coordinator of Ilampokhari-1.Â Likewise, Tulasi Gurung, ward coordinator of Bichaur-6, said that increase in wages of masons and laborers has led construction cost to go up significantly. â€œThere is a shortage of construction workers. As they are in high demand these days, their wages have increased,â€ he said. Maya Gurung, another local, said they have no choice but to hire the construction workers paying high wages. The earthquake victims in the district have so far received Rs 15,000 distributed as relief in the first phase. Later, they also received Rs 10,000 to buy winter clothes.
Those who have some income sources have been able to secure loans and start building their house, while families with poor income have only been able to reinforce their makeshift tents to prepare for monsoon.
By Kishan Sangeet Nepali