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Post-quake urban challenges complex: Padma Sunder Joshi

Posted 23 September, 12:17 am

September 21, 2015 | Programme Manager of UN-Habitat Padma Sunder Joshi today stressed the need to focus on urban aspects in the post-earthquake scenario at a discussion held at Martin Chautari.

Current policy and the interest of I/NGOs has been to rehabilitate rural areas, mostly because urban areas are too complex and challenging. Joshi highlighted migration patterns both within Kathmandu and between cities and rural areas in the post-quake scenario.

There could be a surge in rural to urban displacement as there have been tremendous delay in disbursing Rs 200,000 for housing construction to be given by the government to property owners, whose houses were completely destroyed by the earthquake. “This delay might compel people to move to cities to find work while waiting for the government to assist with the rebuilding processes. In Kathmandu, a lot of people who lived on rented premises forced to leave the urban core as they were unable to afford sky-rocketing rents. This has led to growth in informal settlements.” he warned.

As work on reconstruction continues, Joshi stressed the need to think about rebuilding not only through the limited framework of individual houses, but through a more comprehensive framework of human settlements. This means addressing livelihood, safe housing, local cultures and basic services concurrently.

He added,” While discussing resilience in the context of post-quake rebuilding, spatial planning, functional schemes, and organisational/ institutional needs must be highlighted; but all work is futile unless programmes to bolster resilience are also linked to financial systems.”

To support all the work that is to be done for post-earthquake rebuilding, Joshi outlined the need to focus on human resources and financial tools.

Source: The Himalayan Times

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