CSOs issued joint statements and urged Government of Nepal to urgently react in providing relief and reconstruction support to the victims of landslide and earthquake, and widely discussed on the Local and Federal-level policies, acts, and regulations relating to health, education, agriculture and disaster risk reduction.
As many as 34 civil society activists from 34 districts of Nepal issued joint statements urging the province and federal level government of Nepal to intensify their pace in providing relief support to the victims of landslide that had occurred in Bheri rural municipality of Karnali Province on August 5. A day after the joint statement was issued, family members of nine persons who perished in a landslide in Jajarkot district received Rs 100,000 each as relief from the District Administration Office.
The civil society activists also urged the government to intensify their pace in reconstructing the schools that were destroyed by 2015 Gorkha earthquake and its continued aftershocks.
The statement read, “The 2015 Gorkha Earthquake had destroyed 25,000 classrooms of eight thousand schools operational in 14 districts affecting the education of thousands of students. Following this, many nations across the world had donated for the reconstruction of school buildings; however, reconstruction of the buildings of many schools is in sluggish pace. Thus, we are urging the government to intensify their pace in reconstructing all school buildings operational in 14 quake-affected districts.”
The joint statements were issued during the closing day of ‘Orientation on HEAD-related Federal and Local Level Policies, Acts, and Regulations’, an orientation program organised by MITRA Samaj and its partner NNSWA (Nepal National Social Welfare Association), Mahendranagar at Grand Hotel, Soaltee Mode, Kathmandu, on August 7 to 8.
The objective of the orientation program was to enhance the understanding of civil society activists of Nepal on local and federal level policies, acts, and regulations.
During the two-day event, a total of 34 civil society activists from 14 civil society organisations (CSOs) working in 34 districts of Nepal were orientated on ‘Local Government Operation Act 2074’ and on its provisions related to health, education, agriculture, and disaster risk reduction (HEAD). The objective of the orientation program was also to capacitate the CSOs to identify and pursue issues of concerns that need constructive dialogue at all levels (national and local) so as to drive policy advocacy for its change, transformation, and reform to lead better operating environment.
On August 7, Purusottam Nepal, Joint Secretary of Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration highlighted on devolution of powers in local, provincial and federal government in sectors related to health, education, agriculture, and disaster risk reduction. Besides, Nepal also focused on the system of budget flow to different tiers of the government and management provisions of the local government.
Similarly, Dal Prasad Pudasainy, Senior Agricultural Economist, Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development shared the Federal and Local-level policies, acts, regulations and strategies relating to agriculture and stressed on the schedules and clauses related to agriculture in the Constitution of Nepal 2072. Sharing the plans in agriculture sector in the previous structure of the government, he shared proposed programs in agriculture in all three tiers of the government for the new structure of the country.
On the same day, Krishna Prasad Duwadi, Joint Secretary of Nepal Reconstruction Authority highlighted on policies, regulations and strategies related to Disaster Risk Reduction with special focus on 14 affected districts of 2015 Gorkha Earthquake. He shared key indicators and areas of DRR where CSOs should focus on oversight the resource and services from the concerned authorities. He also underscored new avenues in changed context of Nepal for CSOs engagement in DRR-related law-making process.
On August 8, Mahendra Shrestha, Chief at Policy, Plan and International Cooperation Division (PPICD) Ministry of Health, and Dr. Hari Lamsal, Joint Secretary, Ministry Education highlighted on policies, regulations and strategies related to health and education respectively and shared key indicators and areas of health and education where CSOs should focus on oversight the resource and services from the concerned authorities.
While Prem Ojha, Civil Society Director of FHI 360, shared the necessity and ways of promoting the role of CSOs in the local level, Pranav Bhattarai, Governance Advisor at FHI360 focused on the changed structure of the country.