Timber shortage in Gorkha hits reconstruction progressEarthquake survivors in Gorkha, the epicentre of the 2015 April earthquake, are facing difficulty reconstructing their homes because of timber shortage in the district.
Earthquake survivors in Gorkha, the epicentre of the 2015 April earthquake, are facing difficulty reconstructing their homes because of timber shortage in the district.
Many earthquake-affected families have halted reconstruction works as they could not get enough wood to prepare doors and windows for their under-construction homes.
While several community forest users’ groups in the district have started to issue permits to cut down trees for reconstruction works, many people who have initiated rebuilding of their homes with the aid provided by the National Reconstruction Authority say timber supply remains limited.
Kishor Sedhai, chairman of Bahun Bel Community Forest, said the District Forest Office (DFO) has only allowed them to cut 100 cu ft worth of trees, which cannot fulfil the demand of the earthquake-affected families.
He said the earthquake sufferers in the area will need at least 300 cu ft of timber to complete their homes.
The community forests at Ragar and Dharche in Barpak areas have permitted to fell only 2,406 cu ft worth of trees for reconstruction. These three places need at least 120,000 cu ft of wood to build all the houses that were flattened by the quake.
Dhan Bahadur Gurung, a quake victim in Barpak, said many of them are substituting wood with iron and steel to build their homes.
There are 474 community forests in Gorkha. The DFO has permitted each community forest to cut down 150 cu ft worth of trees for reconstruction.
District Forest Officer Jibnath Paudel said the district does not have enough timber to distribute for rebuilding purpose and that they were planning to import timber from other parts of the country.
To rebuild all quake-hit houses in the district, Paudel said, they will need nearly 7 million cu ft of timber.