Kathmandu, Nov 12: In response to the recent earthquake in Jajarkot, the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) Executive Committee, led by Chairperson and Deputy Prime Minister/Home Minister Narayan Kaji Shrestha, has decided to provide immediate financial relief to affected families. Each quake-hit family is set to receive Rs 50,000 for the construction of temporary houses, as outlined in the decisions made during the committee’s 19th meeting held at Singha Durbar.
The allocated amount will be disbursed in two installments, with Rs 25,000 in each installment, ensuring swift assistance for the construction of temporary shelters. DPM Shrestha emphasized the urgency of delivering the financial aid promptly, expressing concerns about the victims facing the harsh winter conditions without adequate housing.
To facilitate the distribution process, the announced amount and technical assistance will be directly sent to the respective local levels through the Disaster Response Emergency Fund. Local authorities will then oversee the distribution to genuine earthquake-affected families.
Minister for Urban Development Sita Gurung urged caution in the installation of corrugated zinc sheets, emphasizing the importance of adhering to construction standards. She also proposed incorporating standards that tie the second installment of funds to the successful completion of temporary housing.
Highlighting the vulnerability of specific groups, including children, the elderly, and pregnant/post-partum women, Minister Gurung stressed the immediate need for constructing temporary shelters to address the challenges posed by the cold weather.
Committee member Dr. Gangalal Tuladhar underscored the urgency of releasing the announced amount promptly and advocated for decentralizing disaster management to local levels. He called for provincial governments to monitor the situation and federal authorities to manage resources effectively.
During the meeting, committee member-secretary Anil Pokharel presented detailed information on the losses incurred due to the earthquake. The seismic event, with its epicenter in Ramidanda, Jajarkot, resulted in 154 fatalities, 346 injuries, and the destruction of over 62,000 private houses.
The committee aims to ensure efficient and timely assistance to the affected families as they grapple with the aftermath of the earthquake.