Landslide victims in Lamjung hopeful of receiving housing reconstruction aidLandslides triggered by heavy rains swept away 21 houses in Marsyangdi Rural Municipality on July 20 and 22 last year.
Soma Gotame has been living in a hut since her house was swept away by a landslide last year.
Gotame from Pallotari in Marsyangdi Rural Municipality-3, Lamjung, has built a hut on public land, where she lives with four other family members. Some of her neighbours who were also displaced by last year’s landslide have built temporary huts next to her’s.
All the families displaced by last year’s landslide are waiting for relief from the local unit to rebuild their houses.
Organising an interaction programme with the landslide victims on Saturday, the people’s representatives of Marsyangdi Rural Municipality expressed their commitment to sign a contract agreement to rebuild their houses.
“We have spent a year under the hut, enduring rains and storms. The rural municipality’s chairman and ward chief said a housing reconstruction programme is in the pipeline. We hope to build a new house soon. It’s difficult to live here with our children and elders,” said Gotame.
Landslides triggered by heavy rains had swept away 21 houses at Pallotari on July 20 and 22 last year. Many other houses had suffered damages in the disaster.
According to Atiman Gotame, a local leader, the people’s representatives had said that they would reconstruct 54 houses in the Pallotari area within the current fiscal year.
“The local unit has finally taken initiatives to reconstruct the houses for the landslide-displaced families. Preparation is underway to sign the contract,” he said. “Some of the displaced do not even have a land plot, as the landslide swept away their land.”
The local unit plans to reconstruct 54 houses in Pallotari and 20 in Arkhalebesi in the current fiscal year.
“We are working on getting the houses built soon so that the displaced can move back to their houses. Seventy-four houses will be reconstructed this year,” said Prem Bahadur Basnet, the ward chairman of Marsyangdi-3.
According to Arjun Gurung, the chairman of the local unit, each beneficiary will get Rs450,000 to reconstruct their house.
“The reconstruction work will begin soon after signing an agreement with the district natural disaster management committee,” said Gurung.
The beneficiary will get the housing reconstruction aid in three tranches, said Gurung.
According to him, the ward office has also received Rs12.3 million from Nepali donors overseas to be added to the total budget of the reconstruction project.
The rural municipality has also decided to provide an additional Rs 300,000 each to families who have lost their land along with their houses.
“We are struggling to find a suitable land plot in the settlement for those who have lost their land,” said Gurung.
The federal, provincial and local governments will provide 60 percent, 30 percent and 10 percent of the total budget respectively.
“The names of beneficiaries for the housing reconstruction programme have already been shortlisted. The budget for the programme has arrived and we will begin work soon after signing an agreement with the beneficiaries,” said Chief District Officer Hom Prasad Luitel, who is also the coordinator of the district natural disaster management committee.