03/14/2017, 18.15
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Bulldozers tear down earthquake shanty town in Kathmandu

Some 2,000 people lived in the Chuchepati camp. The 2015 earthquake destroyed nearly a million buildings. Nepali authorities are late in rebuilding. Some 41,000 have been rebuild and aid handed out 450,000 families out of a total of 600,000.

Kathmandu (AsiaNews/Agencies) – This morning police bulldozers cleared a shantytown for survivors of the earthquake of 25 April 2015 on the outskirts of Kathmandu.

The Chuchepati camp, also known as the Buddha camp, had almost 440 shacks that provided shelter to at least 2,000 people. The authorities undertook the demolition to push residents to go back home.

In 2015 a 7.9 earthquake killed almost 9,000 people and destroyed  more than a million buildings including houses, schools, Hindu temples, and prisons.

Since then, Nepali authorities have been repeatedly criticised for the slow reconstruction despite substantial foreign financial aid.

Private donors and foreign countries have pledged about four billion dollars, but the government has signed agreements for only 2.6 billion.

So far, the National Reconstruction Authority has handed out individual grants worth US$ 470 to 450,000 families (out of a total of 600,000 eligible beneficiaries), whilst only 41,000 damaged houses have been rebuilt.

Kathmandu’s chief government administrator Him Nath Dawadi said that residents received a one-month notice. “We gave them enough time to leave,” Dawadi said. “We told them to go back to their villages so they can collect the grant given by the government to build their own houses”.

Conversely, those who were displaced complain that the authorities should have provided alternative accommodation before dismantling the shacks.

"I don't have any house of my own to rebuild and I can't find any room on rent to move from the camp," said labourer Bimal Dulal, 52, who has lived in the Kathmandu camp since 2015.

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