Where are the homes for earthquake survivors? German parliamentarians ask Nepal’s political leadership

Dagmar Wöhrl
Dagmar Wöhrl (first on the right) with her colleagues holds talk with Nepalese stakeholders in Kathmandu. Photo: dagmar-woehrl.de

Media raised the subject before but a visiting delegation of German parliamentarians has voiced the most direct criticism so far of the Nepalese government’s failure to fulfil its promise of ‘homes’ for the April 25 earthquake survivors.

“What is the local political leadership doing?,” a cold, hard question put by Dagmar Wöhrl who is the chairperson of the Committee on Economic Cooperation and Development of German Federal Parliament. She and seven of her colleagues arrived in Kathmandu last Tuesday on a five-day tour to assess ‘progress’ in the post-earthquake reconstruction and rehabilitation activities.

And the Germans weren’t impressed by what they witnessed in Nepal, reports in the vernacular media suggest. It is noteworthy that in the aftermath of the 7.8 magnitude temblor last year, Germany had pledged 30 million euros grant assistance to Nepal.

Ms Wöhrl told journalists during a press conference in Kathmandu that the Germany parliament is soon going to debate what have been achieved so far in the reconstruction and rehabilitation activities and what remained to be done. The discussion in the Bundestag, the German national parliament, will be held to mark the first anniversary of the April earthquake, she said during yesterday’s press conference.

The international scrutiny is certainly going to put pressure on the Nepalese government to do more than what it is currently doing. Australian parliamentarian Sam Dastyari, who recently visited Nepal’s quake-affected areas, also expressed similar concern recently when he spoke about his visit in the senate, although in much more diplomatic terms.

The visiting German parliamentarians in particular put a question mark on Nepal’s political leadership over the lack of homes for the earthquake survivors, nearly a year since the April 25 disaster flattened their properties.

According to a local daily, Mr Wöhrl lamented that there have been ‘little work’ in relation to the Nepalese government’s pledge of homes for the now-homeless victims.

It is understood that the delegation also met with the National Reconstruction Authority but only to find out that the body is still busy formulating rules and regulations rather than doing the actual reconstruction and rehabilitation work it was created to do. What is worse, questions are already being raised about the integrity of the head of the NRA, Sushil Gyewali. His name has found a mention by Nepal’s top anti-corruption authority, the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority.

According to Ms Wöhrl, “spending merely 13 per cent of foreign support is not simply enough”, The Himalayan Times reported.

11 thoughts on “Where are the homes for earthquake survivors? German parliamentarians ask Nepal’s political leadership

  1. I have spent months organising a container load of EPS, Extruded Polystyrene Sheets for emergency housing from China. Its strong very light, insulating & waterproof & reusable later in a permanent home. It could be here in under a month. I need a builder, architect or engineer to organise the steel framework & renders that give the sheets huge strength, plus get Govt approvals. A container or two of these sheets would get the rebuilding going & get the Govt off the hook. Interested ???. Pass around the info. Product samples are in Kat. Im in Australia. William Ross.

    1. Greetings, William. Not a simple yes or no possible here. I founded and operate a not for profit org in Nepal called the Himalayan Light Foundation. We have been working in remote areas for almost 20 years now. We have been very active providing various services and facilities for villages and schools during this difficult time. We would need to know more about what you are proposing to see if it fits with our current works. Please contact us at info@hlf.org.np regards, Adam Friedensohn.

  2. Yes, germany may have pledge 30 million euros, and Nepal govt may have spent only 13% of funds that are available right now. But the real question is how much money has germany already donated in regards to that 30 million euros that they pledged? Countries pledge million and million but thats a long tern pledge and they usually do not deposit the full amount at once. Some pay in the span of 10 years some 20 years. So to say Nepal has been pledged 3 to 5 billion $’s for reconstruction does not necessary mean they have that amount as of right now to build homes.

    Germany is just mad because last year during earth quake a husband of a embassy staff member tried to force remove his friend drug smuggler from nepal’s prison and was caught red handed. He was making excuses that the building was not safe when it actually is a modern govt building that sustained no damages during earthquake. He was then trying to use his embassy position and his immunity as an excuse to free him and hit police and locals who were trying to stop him. Nepal maybe poor and earthquake may have destroyed its house but sure it did not destroy its system made by the people of Nepal. Only thing Germany likes to do is take advantage of countries that are most venerable. Here is the video and at the end you can see the prisoner being carried by the police and the locals. They even go on to hit the locals just because they have immunity. What a Shame germany ! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YjoUCCKG_xc

    1. So your argument is that VULNERABLE NEPALI people’s lives are not worth much, and it’s okay for the government to not do anything even when they were given money- any money- maybe 1.5 million euros (as per your argument)– it has been almost a year, what has the government done?

      It is a shame that Nepali people use scandals to hide the lack of accountability from their political leaders. No wonder we get such political leaders.

      Now that someone is questioning this lack of accountability, you will bring up anything (relevant or irrelevant) to change the argument. Maybe make personal attacks so that the main point is lost? We deserve the leaders we have. Well done!

  3. hmm.. the points Sabita has pointed out not to be neglected but maybe the sole objective of the article is lost… where are the homes? seriously

  4. Pledge all you want but building needs real fund, and real agressive work from the government bodies. Both are lacking. Germany need not try to overlord over us. We know their interest is self-interest.

  5. At least you show the world by doing solid building works….I am sure the pledges will turn into real dollars..where is willpower of Nepalese Government….this socio-political bonanza has created more havoc than the earthquake itself to those unfortunate brethren… Sorry .

  6. It is an equal guilty of them specially foreigner diplomats who put this question to Nepalese political leaders as it is clear as mirror to know their intentions very well..

  7. Why blame donors for refusing to hand over, without restrictions, large sums of money to a government that is unable to even convene a committee to oversee reconstruction work let alone actually get something done? It has been almost one year. Earthquake victims suffer while politicians jockey for lucrative positions on committees, make demands to get raises before they will begin work, demand unfettered access to cash and no accountability, and make it illegal for NGOs to work directly fixing the problems. It is an old story, unfortunately: Nepal’s elite looking after themselves and their cronies, blame others for their inaction, and let the people suffer without relief.

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