Gorkha Earthquake 2015 and Post Disaster Reconstruction in Nepal: Challenges and Prospects
Keywords:Gorkha earthquake, disaster, Response, reconstruction
The Gorkha earthquake of moment magnitude 7.6 hit the central region of Nepal on April 25, 2015; with the epicenter about 77 km northwest of Kathmandu Valley. This paper aims to explore the challenges and opportunities of reconstruction in earthquake punched areas of Nepal. The Gorkha earthquake on April 25, 2015, has significantly affected the livelihood of people and overall economy in Nepal, causing severe damage and destruction in central Nepal including nation’s capital. A larger part of the earthquake affected area is difficult to access with rough terrain and scattered settlements, which posed unique challenges and efforts on a massive scale reconstruction and rehabilitation. Challenge of reconstruction of thousands houses is tough for Nepal in the background of its uproar political scenario and weak governance. With significant actors involved in the reconstruction process, no appreciable relief has reached to the ground, which is reflected over the frustration of affected people. Although the earthquake negatively influenced the country’s economy, it opened the opportunity to create sustainable economic developments through proper disaster mainstreaming like construction of earthquake resilience infrastructures, new education and training, media-based mass awareness, and coordinated actions in different parts of the society. Disaster is also an opportunity for development. Hence, if we start thinking for the opportunities after the disaster in a constructive way, still there is a flourishing future of development. This paper is prepared by analyzing few literatures and the personal experiences of the author being as a part of rescue and relief operation in Gorkha during the critical flash of earthquake.