April 26, 2018
On April 26, 2018, National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) organized a half-day seminar "From Build Back Better to Disaster Risk Reduction: Government Responsibilities and the Role of Mutual Help" to commemorate the 3rd anniversary of the Nepal Earthquake with support from JICA. About 180 participants representing the government, development partners, civil society, academia and media actively took part in the discussions.
The seminar highlighted the last three years of progress and achievements in reconstruction and recovery based on the principle of Build Back Better (BBB). In addition to the updates on the overall reconstruction and recovery in the country, NRA also shared two successful cases of accelerating the pace of housing reconstruction and bringing out positive changes in rural livelihoods. A common approach underlying both of these examples was the mechanism of mutual help which seems to effectively complement the public support provided by the government. One of the examples shared at the seminar is the "Community Mobilization Program" for housing reconstruction supported by JICA. This group-based, collective approach to housing reconstruction seems to be yielding visible acceleration impact in the JICA supported areas in Gorkha and Sindhupalchowk where the reconstruction start rate is 83% and completion rate is 40% as of March 2018.
It was also emphasized that creating a platform of mutual help would be an effective way of reaching out with livelihood support to the vulnerable groups who are the hardest hit by the disaster but often tend to be left behind. The speakers unanimously agreed that as clearly outlined in the Post Disaster Recovery Framework, Nepal's recovery is not just concerning physical reconstruction, but it is also about making sure cultural, economic, social and even psychological well-being of the people are taken care of.
Moreover, the seminar discussion brought out the urgent need for the government to take concrete measures for enhancing urban resilience – particularly in the Kathmandu Valley where vulnerability to the next earthquake is high – and investment in longer-term disaster risk reduction in the country by operationalizing the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015-2030).
From Left to Right: Mr. Itsu Adachi, Director General, Infrastructure and Peacebuilding Department, JICA His Excellency Mr. Masashi Ogawa, Ambassador of Japan to Nepal Mr. Kedar Neupane, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs Dr. Bhishma K. Bhusal, Under Secretary, National Reconstruction Authority Mr. Yuba Raj Bhusal, Chief Executive Officer, National Reconstruction Authority