The two-day workshop on the “Review of the Humanitarian Response and Strategic Planning for Recovery and Reconstruction of Gorkha” was held in Pokhara on 27-28 November, 2015. The workshop has major two folds objectives: review of humanitarian response after earthquake; formulation of strategic planning for recovery in Gorkha. It became crucial to bring together member of parliament, members of DDRC, political parties, Ministries of Government of Nepal, Government line agencies, media, UN agencies, I/NGOs, and Donors/Multilateral organisations in one platform with aim of empowering resilient community and reconstruction of destroyed infrastructure hit by powerful earthquake, epicentre of the 7.6 magnitude, Barpak VDC of Gorkha district on 25 April, 2015. The workshop was organized by The District Disaster Relief Committee (DDRC) Gorkha with the collaborative financial and technical support of United Nations Development Programme, Catholic Relief Services/Caritas, OXFAM, People in Need, and Eco Nepal. A total of eleven presentations and group work sessions and three panel discussions were carried out at the workshop.
In the beginning of the session, the secretary of DDRC Mr. Prem Raj Giri, presented overall humanitarian response activities performed by the government and non-governmental actors in the district, it was presented that 470 people lost their lives, 1348 people were injured in the district . He further highlighted the activities performed by DDRC. The highlights of the first day included presentations by cluster leads working in Gorkha for earthquake response and recovery.
Representatives from organizations working in different areas, such as Early Recovery, WASH, Health,
Education, Shelter, Protection, Camp Coordination and Camp Management, Logistics, Food Security, discussed their challenges and lessons learned in humanitarian response, and made important recommendations. Early recovery cluster is led by Chief District Engineer, District Technical Office, Mr.
Sahadev Bahadur Bhandari and Co-lead by UNDP. Mr. Bhandari highlighted activities in three pillar such as debris removal and management, Community infrastructure and livelihoods recovery, restoration of critical local services. All together 92 programmes were delivered by 14 agencies for 203825 beneficiaries in 37 VDCs in the district. Wash cluster is led by WSSDO Gorkha Senior Divisional Engineer Mr. Narayan Prasad Acharya and Co-lead by Care Nepal. 27 agencies were dedicated covering 59 VDCs for 54208 Hygiene kits, 9405 emergency toilet, 139.5 KM HDPE pipe for emergency and 300 water tanks were provided. Shelter cluster is led by DUDBC and co-lead by IFRC. They provided CGI and tool kits in 8991 HHs, 57776 HHs were benefited from cash grants under this cluster. Education cluster is led by District Education Office and co-lead by UNICEF, under education cluster 16 VDCs schools supported where 63 schools were benefitted by eight different organisations for classroom reconstruction and text books distribution. Health and Nutrition cluster covered all VDCs and Municipality in the district, under this cluster reproductive health, mental health, Nutrition, injury and rehabilitation assistance medical supplies relevant programmes were delivers by 28 organisations.
Protection cluster programmes presence is in 34 VDCs in the district which is led by the District Women and children welfare Office and Co-led by World Vision International and UNICEF together. Camp Coordination and Camp Management Cluster is led by Senior Divisional Engineer, Mr. Shyam Kishor Singh, DUDBC and Co-lead by IOM which covers 17 VDCs. Camp management for displaced population, building toilets, distribution of blankets and tarpaulin, distribution of essential goods and items for emergency settlement was delivered under this cluster. Logistic cluster delivered 177 metric tons and 3183 metric tons lifesaving reliefs’ items transported by helicopters and road respectively, where 1300 flights flew. WFP has managed and worked as focal agency for logistic cluster. It has presence in 66 VDCs in the district. Food security cluster is led by DADO and Co-lead by Save the Children and PIN. The major deliverables of this cluster are seed distribution, agriculture technology and tools, emergency food supplies, unconditional cash grants. It has covered 64 VDCs in the district.
The presentations were followed by a panel discussion with the representatives of agencies/organisations. The attention of the first day was the presentation on Post Disaster Needs Assessment by the Chief District Engineer, Mr. Sahadev Bahadur Bhandari. He proposed approximate NRs 30.32 billion budget for the recovery and reconstruction works which included infrastructure,
Social, Forestry, Agriculture industrial and others sectors.
The second day mainly focused on the priorities for future interventions for recovery and reconstruction which could be strategic point for recovery and reconstruction planning. The sectoral participants outlined specific priorities within specific sectors namely Economic Development;
Governance; Infrastructure development, social sector; Land use, Forest and Environment. Economic development group has formulated major four priority such as- Sustainable livelihood improvement programme, Ensure food security at household level, agriculture infrastructure, revitalization of tourism and revitalization of small and cottage industries. Major issues of governance group are: absence of proper directives and procedure for recovery and reconstruction, common understanding of political parties and public, lack of knowledge on existing laws, procedure and accountability of nonstate actors, appropriate implementation of monitoring and evaluation mechanism, transparency in delivering public services specifically in the remote areas. Education sub group has patronized on debris removal in schools and colleges, recovery of schools. Health sub group focused on provision of required hospital beds, clean drinking water in health facilities, medical instruments and supplies, provision and fulfilment of health workers/doctors in the health centres/hospitals. Protection of children, women and people with disability sub groups prioritized on children orphaned by earthquake, address disability issues, domestic violence. Infrastructure group prioritized on shelter/housing, transportation and WASH. Similarly, Environment and forestry sector prioritized on plantation, promotion of alternative energy and ecotourism, review of DPRP and management of displaced community.
The presentations and discussions suggested that Gorkha is now, moving steadily towards the recovery phase. Many participants emphasized the importance of Gorkha-specific plan, and expressed their commitment to make the “Gorkha Model” successful. The lessons, recommendations, priorities and commitments expressed by the diverse stakeholders and way forward for the recovery planning constituted the key outcome of the workshop, and these were combined as the Pokhara Declaration.