KATHMANDU, May 16: A year after April 25 devastating earthquake, National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) has carried out preparatory works to mobilize volunteers to help the people in districts worst hit by the natural disaster.

The NRA, which issued a ‘Guidelines on Mobilizing Local Volunteers (DMLV)’ on Sunday, said efforts to mobilize volunteers will begin from Friday.
According to the guidelines, the volunteers will help victims get the quake-grant of Rs 200,000 to be distributed by the government and support them for building temporary shelters as well as permanent houses in their own place.

Mainly, the volunteers will coordinate with the earthquake-affected people, local government officials and other concerned agencies to minimize hassles for quake-victims and avoid confusions related to bureaucratic procedures in claiming financial or other kinds of government support.

“It will be particularly helpful for those who don’t have land to build houses or those who haven’t been able to build houses despite having a land,” states the directives. “The volunteers will help them build temporary shelters or permanent houses as per their needs.”

The volunteers will be mobilized for 21 days ending June 3. The NRA has planned to use the volunteers to build individual or community-based temporary shelters to shift those who have been living in flimsy tents before the monsoon.

According to Madhusudan Adhikari, member secretary of NRA’s executive committee, the guidelines have been prepared with a view to properly coordinate and manage a large number of volunteers after major political parties expressed willingness to send their members to the earthquake-affected districts. He also said that organizations or their members who are ready to work in accordance with the guidelines can join the volunteer work.

The government has already initiated the procedure to distribute grant amounts from far flung villages of Dolakha district last month.

“We have finished the household survey in 11 of the total 14 most-affected districts,” he said. “Next, we will sign a deal with the family heads and then the money will be transferred directly to the concerned individual’s bank account.” He informed that the household survey in Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur districts will start soon.

The NRA officials said volunteers would be chosen from various organizations and political parties before May 18 through VDCs, municipality and District Disaster Relief Committee (DDRC).

The volunteer would be required to bear the entire costs related to transportation, food and other expenses during volunteering period.

Meanwhile, Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development (MoFALD) has released Rs 11.11 billion for distributing earthquake relief in the affected districts on Sunday.

According to the NRA, the Central Project Implementation Unit under the MoFALD has released the budget to the District Development Committees of Dhading, Dolakha, Kavre, Rasuwa, Nuwakot, Sindhupalchok, Gorkha, Okhaldhunga, Sindhuli and Makawanpur.

First appeared in Republica national daily