Nepal Announces Plans to Begin Reconstruction of Historical Sites
PHOTO: Temples of Durbar Square in Bhaktapur, Nepal. (photo courtesy of Thinkstock)
On Monday, Nepal's prime minister announced the start of reconstruction at historical locations a year after an earthquake tore through the region, killing almost 9,000 people and leaving much of the country in shambles.
According to The Associated Press, Nepal Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Oli revealed Monday the government’s plans to rebuild the Anantapur temple and several other heritage sites in the capital city of Kathmandu. In total, over 600 historical structures were damaged in the earthquake.
The Anantapur temple is part of the complex surrounding the shrine of Swayambhunath, which is listed as a UNESCO heritage site. Many of the Buddhist temples, stupas and monasteries surrounding the Swayambhunath were heavily damaged during the natural disaster.
In addition to a renewed focus on rebuilding historical landmarks, the prime minister also stated that construction of private homes has begun in 10 districts across the country. The government expects work to progress swiftly, but officials say the massive project will not be rushed.
One year after the earthquake, critics have complained about what has taken the government in Nepal so long to begin reconstruction, especially since more than 500,000 private homes were also destroyed by the temblor.
The AP is reporting that foreign donors have pledged $4.1 billion for aid and reconstruction, but Nepal has only received $1.28 billion thus far. The cause of the delays in getting the money to the people who need it the most rests on the shoulders of the government, and aid groups are calling for officials to alter laws in order to get the people the assistance they need.
As if holdups with emergency funds wasn’t stressful enough, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies is reporting that around four million people are still living in sub-standard conditions following the natural disaster.
Families who were impacted by the disaster were awarded a $1,868 government grant to assist in rebuilding and improve their way of life, but only 661 families have received the first payment of $467.
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