The reconstruction of houses affected by earthquake has been progressing well. Five years after the devastating 2015 earthquake, out of 827,167 eligible program beneficiaries, 781,176 beneficiaries (94%) have enrolled in the program by signing the participation agreement. While 776,953 enrolled beneficiaries (99%) have already received first tranche, 641,994 beneficiaries have received the second (82%) and 550,532 beneficiaries have received the third tranches (70%) of housing grant.
NRA is planning to conclude housing reconstruction before it ceases to exist by December 2020. However, there are still more than 100,000 households including vulnerable, who have not yet started the reconstruction of their houses or have aborted the process in between. These are the beneficiary, who need specific support in order to be able to start/resume reconstruction of their houses. NRA has recruited and mobilized more than 800 mobile masons and 249 social mobilizers, to provide socio-technical assistance to the beneficiaries. The Social Mobilizers are responsible to undertake a rapid needs assessment to understand the needs and facilitate the mobilization of support in coordination with concerned local governments, field engineers, mobile masons, communities and other stakeholders. Where required, the mobile masons will physically participate in reconstruction of houses belonging particularly to vulnerable beneficiaries.
While the reconstruction was taking full swing, the emergence of COVID-19 pandemic has brought the program to a complete halt. Project staffs are not able to function because of nationwide lockdown enforced by the government in order to minimize spread of the contagion. Even after the lockdown is lifted, the lives and activities will not be as normal as it was before the pandemic. The project staffs including engineers, social mobilizers and mobile masons will need to be equipped with adequate health and safety measures before they are mobilized in the field. Obstruction of this magnitude is likely to affect the NRA’s ambitious goal of completing the reconstruction of private houses by the end of year 2020.