Nepal Earthquake: Reconstruction is off the mark in worst-hit district

The 2015 temblors, although originated in Barpak, meted out the most the damage Sindhupalchok district, located at around 200km northeast of Gorkha.

Around 3,570 people lost their lives during the earthquake in Sindhupalchok and more than 90 per cent of the homes perished. While eight people still remain unaccounted for, those who sustained severe injuries during the quake, around 1,567 them, are slowly recovering from the trauma.

The district also suffered a considerable loss of infrastructure. While 41 of 43 government offices were completely razed, 80 health facilities, including the district hospital were also damaged beyond repair. Similarly, 13 suspension bridges and 91 drinking water projects were affected.

Two years after the quake, only 4.37 per cent of houses in the district has been reconstructed, according to Tanka Gautam Hamal, acting chief of department of building construction, ministry of urban development.

While there are several factors that have impeded post-quake reconstruction in the district and all over Nepal, a major setback was faced after technicians and engineers working on reconstruction projects demanded a pay hike.

The National Reconstruction Authority passed the buck on called ‘political transition’ and the absence of locally-elected representatives in hard-hit districts.

According to official data, 95.63 per cent of the houses damaged during the quake in Sindhupalchok are yet to be reconstructed. More than 90 per cent of all homes in the district were damaged in the quake.


It took more than 18 months for the officials of National Reconstruction Authority to reach the villages in the district. Several villagers took it upon themselves to rebuild their homes, a process which is expected to continue for months.


When former PM KP Oli arrived at Sindhupalchok to mark the anniversary of the quake last year, post-quake reconstruction was expected to gather pace. But several factors have delayed the process overall. A total of 16 organisations are working on reconstruction projects in collaboration with the government, their work has not yielded results as expected earlier.


Post-quake, villagers in the district have given up on local materials such as mud and stone. A few others have haphazardly started to rebuild with reinforced iron and steel, in the hope that their houses will be more secure than before. But while doing so, many villagers are using unskilled manpower without technical supervision.


While several seasons and governments have changed after the quake, the lives of those in Sindhupalchok is not much different than it was immediately after the temblor.

See also

13 months after Nepal quake, four travelling photographers ask one question

Photo Story: A year into Gorkha quake, villages & schools in ruins tell a sordid tale

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