February 23 ,2017 , 07:42 PM
Post quake crisis

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The country is sorely reeling under myriad of anomalies after the Great Earthquake of April 25.

Local party leaders are using relief aids meant for quake victims for their own ends; food shortages are hitting hard people in the affected areas and the homeless are not easily getting zinc sheets required for making temporary shelters.

In Sindhupalchok, one of the most quake affected districts, local politicians are encouraging some unscrupulous people to grab cash handouts at the expense of genuine victims.

 So much so, the immoral and the deceitful are even threatening a number of VDC secretaries of physical assaults if they do not hand out cash to just anyone approaching them. This has compelled such secretaries to leave their posts and seek refuge at district headquarters, thus paralysing the cash distribution process.

The All Party Mechanisms (APMs), which were resurrected in the aftermath of the tremours, are again flagrantly exhibiting their financial shenanigans.

 As in the past, they are doing more harm than good.

On the other side, food shortages are hitting hard people in remote villages of the district. Equally gloomy is the situation in other quake ravaged districts like Dolakha and Ramechhap.

If no immediate measure is taken, the poor villagers will have nothing to eat.

When their houses collapsed due to catastrophic jolts, they also lost food grains stored in the attics.

 Rampant distribution of substandard food by INGOs is something that is adding to the woes of the victims.

Rice provided by the World Food Program (WFP) and Nepal Red Cross Society (NRSC)  is said to be of shoddy quality and the Nepal Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has asked the government to take legal action against them.

Another serious problem besetting the needy people is the fraudulence in the distribution of zinc sheets. 

 Finance Minister Ram Sharan Mahat's personal assistant, Ramesh Mahat, who is also Nuwakot District Secretary of Nepali Congress, was trying to sell zinc sheets meant for earthquake victims. Similarly, some predatory traders in Kathmandu were found selling such sheets to customers at inflated price.

What is truly perplexing is that these incidences represent only the tip of the iceberg. Embezzlement, misuse, hoarding, and price hike of vital supplies like rice, lentil and oil have started to raise their ugly heads.  The quake victims, who are struggling to get back to their feet, are being further victimized by such malfeasance.

The need of the hour, therefore, is the timely and bold action on the part of the government against the wrongdoers. If it continues to remain tepid, the trauma of the suffering people is bound to worsen further. 


Friday, Jun 12, 2015 1:00 pm


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