Quake-battered Bajhang slowly standing on its feet


Bajhang, Feb 26: Quake survivors in Bajhang district are feeling some respite since the post-quake reconstruction and resettlement process are gaining momentum in the district, thanks to the effort on the part of the government and technical and financial assistance from the donor agencies. 

It may be noted that an earthquake of 6.4 magnitude severely hit Bajhang district with an epicenter in Jajarkot district on November 3 last year leaving scores of causalities and fatalities and taking a heavy toll on physical properties in affected districts. 

Bajhang was the hardest-hit district after Jajarkot. Aftershocks of that massive quake continue to terrorize the Bajhang residents and a recent fresh 4 Richter Scale quake has yet again stoked fear among them.

Amid this, they are hopeful that Bajhang will stand back on its feet as the post-quake reconstruction and resettlement process are gradually gaining pace. 

In the first round, those rendered homeless due to the quake were shifted to temporary shelters. So far, 3000 temporary shelters made up of wood and zinc sheets are being constructed by the government of Nepal while 130 were by the UNDP and 400 by the Red Cross, according to the District Natural Disaster Relief Committee. 

Among them, 1,178 shelters have been handed over to the beneficiaries by now.

Tribhuvan Bastola, Project Coordinator, shared that 130 temporary shelters have been built by the MPDS Dadheldhura, an NGO, in support of Save the Children while two temporary teaching-learning centers have been established in two schools and sanitation and drinking water facilities are set up in five schools.

Besides this, emergency counseling services are running for the quake-affected expecting and new mothers in the district, added Bastola.

Three schools in district headquarters Chainpur were badly battered by the quake. Temporary shelters have been constructed to resume teaching and learning activities in those schools, said Ishwor Bahadur Khati, people's representative in the district.

Over 10,000 houses were damaged in the quake along with 275 public offices in the district, according to a statistic. 

A person died and dozens of them were injured in the quake, informed Bishnu Airi, a local social leader.

Locals are trying to free themselves from the fear of quakes, he opined, adding that psychosocial counseling and awareness drive on earthquakes launched in the district have eased off the environment here to some extent. (RSS)

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