Nepal: One year on

04/04/2016

Exactly one year ago, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit Nepal killing thousands and injuring many more. Just one week after the quake, hundreds of people were left standing over wreckages where their homes used to stand.

The reconstruction effort has been painfully slow. Tarpaulins, tents and tin-roofed shacks offer little shelter. Whole villages remain shattered. Religious monuments were demolished. In Bungamati, and other regions, displaced children remain sleeping in temporary shelters.

After the initial earthquake, months of aftershocks and tremors caused further anxiety. People slept on the street, scared to return home. The economy struggled. Tourism declined by 70% and a border dispute with India forced closed Nepal’s only major trade route. It diverted political attention away from the recovery process and kept materials vital for the reconstruction from where they were needed most.

In February 2016, a protracted negotiation with India and local ethnic groups was concluded and the border reopened. The reconstruction process can finally begin. The Government of Nepal has formally established a National Reconstruction Authority and donors are finalising plans for longer term economic support.

Whilst reconstruction is painfully slow, progress is visible. Many local projects are playing a vital role in rebuilding one of South Asia’s poorest countries.

Funded by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), Adam Smith International is supporting the reconstruction of damaged trails, promoting tourism and constructing over US$1m worth of cattle shelters and community grain stores to help communities to recover, increasing incomes and jobs in agriculture and ensuring food security.

To view more pictures of Nepal one year on from the earthquake click here

Bringing back tourists to Nepal, watch the video here.