KATHMANDU: Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ has issued directives for making the relief and rehabilitation for the Jajarkot earthquake victims effective.
Addressing the meeting of the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management National Council held in Singha Durbar today, he instructed the bodies concerned to carry out the relief and rehabilitation operations with the necessary preparation and by taking the earthquake-affected people into confidence.
PM Dahal expressed profound sorrow over the big loss of life and property caused by the earthquake and stressed on the need to utilize the disaster as an important opportunity for reconstruction.
The 13th meeting of the Council was convened to discuss the damage caused by the devastating earthquake that hit Jajarkot and Rukum Paschim, and the steps the government needs to initiate in its aftermath.
On the occasion, the PM directed one and all to be serious about making the post-quake rescue, relief, and reconstruction effective, describing the initiatives made by the three tiers of the government and other bodies immediately after the disaster as positive.
He stated that preparations have been made to carry out work in a prompt manner by restructuring the existing Acts, regulations, and structures based on the good practices during the time of the 2015 Gorkha Earthquake.
“I thank all the parties, the federal government and various agencies, the provincial government and the local governments for their post-earthquake initiatives. We should have carried out works related to search, rescue, and treatment yesterday, which we have basically completed. Now, we need to concentrate on relief and rehabilitation,” the PM reiterated.
He directed for management of warm clothes to the earthquake victims and made treatment for them effective. Reminding that Nepal is a country vulnerable to natural disasters, the PM acknowledged that the government’s initiatives and raising people’s awareness on this have not been adequate.
“For the next three days, let us make maximum efforts for relief. Rehabilitation has to be made effective and we need the required Act, work procedure, and structure for the same. The reconstruction works are not seen to be effective with the existing Act, procedures, and structure. We need to make a sound review of our past experiences as well,” PM Dahal reiterated.
Stating that effective work relating to earthquakes had not taken place following the 2015 earthquake, he stressed the need for a study on the geological condition and risks. “We must think about carrying out a geological study and establishing human settlements. We should work to keep all required materials during disasters. Now, we store such materials. We will adopt a one-door system to distribute relief materials. We will stop the misuse of relief materials. We will create an environment where reliefs are distributed through the central, provincial, and local governments.”
In the meeting, participants including Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Narayan Kaji Shrestha, Finance Minister Dr. Prakash Sharan Mahat, Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation Shakti Bahadur Basnet, Minister for Agriculture and Livestock Development Dr. Beduram Bhusal, Minister for Education, Science and Technology Ashok Kumar Rai, Minister for Urban Development Sita Gurung, Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport Prakash Jwala and Chief of the Army Staff Prabhuram Sharma commended activeness and hard work shown by PM Dahal during the quake.
“Prime Minister himself took initiatives in rescue efforts. Rescue efforts have almost been completed. Now, there are no reports of missing people. So, our focus should be on relief distribution,” said DPM Shrestha.
PM’s activeness during the disaster showed the seriousness of the government, said former minister Gangadhar Tuladhar. Claiming that all state mechanisms had been effectively deployed since the PM himself took initiatives post-disaster, minister Basnet maintained that the government was successful in reaching out and assisting the quake victims.
PM himself taking leadership in the rescue, relief distribution, and treatment of the quake victims has spread a positive message, said Minister Jwala.
Praising PM Dahal for his activeness during the disaster, Minister for Health and Population Mohan Bahadur Basnet expressed his happiness for having a responsible and active PM. The whole state mechanism was mobilized during the disaster, said Army Chief Sharma.