In response to the recent earthquakes that have devastated the Jajarkot and Rukum West districts of Karnali Province, the Nepali Congress (NC) has proposed a significant shift in relief and rehabilitation efforts. The party is advocating for the federal government to empower provincial and local authorities to take the lead in these crucial efforts.
During a meeting with Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, the NC presented its proposal, suggesting that the federal government should transition into a facilitating and monitoring role, allowing provincial and local governments to spearhead relief and rehabilitation operations. The NC’s vision involves the District Security Mechanism playing a central role in coordinating various stakeholders, including all levels of government, disaster management authorities, donor agencies, and the private sector. This coordinated effort will aim to distribute tents, food, medicine, and other essential supplies to earthquake survivors efficiently through a one-window system.
The NC’s delegation, which included President Sher Bahadur Deuba, general secretaries Gagan Kumar Thapa, and Bishwo Prakash Sharma, among other leaders, met with Prime Minister Dahal to discuss their recommendations.
In addition to these proposals, the NC has called for the establishment of provincial-level disaster relief funds, with the authorization to receive support from interested groups, organizations, and individuals. To address the health concerns of those living in open areas after the earthquakes, the party has urged the government to set up mobile medical camps to provide treatment for injuries and ailments such as coughs, colds, and pneumonia. They emphasize the need for the federal government to support provincial authorities with essential equipment, workforce, and logistical support at local health facilities.
The NC also emphasized the importance of collecting data on earthquake-induced losses within three weeks through collaboration between the provincial planning commission and local governments. This data will be vital for the rebuilding and rehabilitation process.
To expedite the rehabilitation of earthquake survivors, the NC has recommended deploying essential staff to the affected areas for a year, filling vacant positions, and involving former bureaucrats if necessary. These measures are part of a comprehensive plan to address the urgent needs of the earthquake-affected communities in Jajarkot and Rukum West districts.