Tens of thousands of Nepalese who lost their homes in the devastating earthquake are in a quandary over how to rebuild their houses ahead of the monsoon beginning next month.
The Home Ministry said that a total of 2,79,234 houses have been completely damaged and 2,37,068 partially damaged due to the quake and with monsoon approaching there is little time left to rebuild the houses.
The monsoon is expected in the next two months and the hilly terrain usually experiences heavy rain.
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The devastating 7.9-magnitude earthquake that struck Nepal on April 25 has claimed over 7,500 lives and injured another 16,390 people.
Sitaram Paneru, 33, is gearing up to rebuild his house. His family is living without a proper shade and a baby is expected to be arrive in the next two months.
Paneru is a resident of Pipaltar village in Nuwakot district, one of the worst affected districts after the quake—overlooks the picturesque mountains and Trishuli river.
He also works as a daily wage labourer to feed his family. The earthquake damaged his house he built from money as a labourer working in Dubai for seven years.
Paneru’s case is synonym to many in rural Nepal, as help is slowly reaching in these areas.
The Nuwakot district has seen massive destruction with old mud houses collapsing like a pack of cards.
If the reconstruction of houses were not done before the rainy season, there is little chance of saving them from further damage, said Pushker Sharma Rimal, Coordinator of the Nuwakot Palace Area Protection Committee.
With micro financing yet to reach a maturity stage in rural areas, rebuilding a house is still daunting task to many.
The house is damaged to such an extent that a wall has collapsed and developed cracks making it impossible to stay inside. The family currently lives in tents in their small farm given by a religious organisation from India.
Paneru has taken a loan of Rs 50,000 from his in-laws on an interest of 24 per cent.
“The government has given us Rs 2,000, but that is not enough. No one gives money at this point of time. With the amount I will at least build a shade for my family,” he added.
Another farmer Arjun Paneru, 32, also has to build his house which was damaged in the earthquake.
“The government has not reached us and we are staying in a small farm. Yesterday someone sent us blankets, oil and rice but the big question lies here is how to sustain ahead. how will we survive,” he said.