The newly constructed multipurpose community centre at Changunarayan municipality of Bhaktapur district has been handed over to the municipal authority today (6/7). The building will be used as ‘coordination hub’ by the municipality as part of its crisis preparedness and response efforts including the COVID-19.
The building was constructed by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) with financial support from Thailand with purpose of supporting the Nepalese people to recover from Nepal Earthquake 2015.
“It gives a feeling of accomplishment that we were able to complete the earthquake-resistant structure within the set time frame and the building can now be an added value to Local Government’s efforts to respond to the current pandemic,” said Dr. Vasil Gajdadziev, Chief Migration Health Officer of IOM Nepal.
The earthquake displaced approximately 2.8 million people. Some 117,700 people in the 14 worst-affected districts were forced to find shelter in makeshift camps.
Similarly, the impact of the ongoing pandemic in Nepal has been increasing daily with hundreds of thousands of migrants returning home from India after it eased its lockdown from 1 June.
The Government of Nepal has started repatriation of Nepalese stranded abroad since early June as Nepal had imposed nationwide lockdown effective 24 March.
As of 6 July, number of confirmed cases in Nepal stands 15,964 and 35 deaths. Majority of confirmed cases to date are returnee migrants.
“This is an auspicious moment for both countries – Thailand and Nepal – as this represents the former’s support to the latter in its efforts towards building a resilient nation,” said Charge d’ Affaires a.i. of Thai Embassy in Nepal Ms. Utoomporn Ampaivit speaking at the event.
Recalling that in the year 2019 Thailand and Nepal marked 60th anniversary of establishment of the diplomatic relations between the two countries, she expressed her confidence that cooperation and partnership between the two countries and friendship between the people of both sides will keep growing ever stronger.
She then informed that the fund for the project was donated by the Thai people under the Thai Heart for Nepal programme which supports Nepalese people in their recovery efforts from the damages of the 2015 Earthquake.
Thanking the government and the people of Thailand for their support to build the community center, the mayor of Changunarayan municipality Mr. Som Prasad Mishra assured his further steps in making his municipality a Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Champion municipality in the country.
At the onset of disasters, the centre will be used to provide shelter for displaced people with priority given to the most vulnerable, including pregnant women, children, people with special needs and the elderly. The centre will also serve as a venue for community and municipal activities, including women and youth groups, community-based training, recreational pursuits, information dissemination and income generating activities.
Under the same project, IOM has been building similar multipurpose structures in seven other municipalities in earthquake affected districts – Shankarapur municipality of Kathmandu district, Lalitpur Metropolitancity of Lalitpur district, Gorkha of Gorkha, Neelkantha of Dhading, Gosainkunda of Rasuwa, Chautara of Sindhupalchowk, and Bhimeshwor of Dolakha. The project is under the leadership of the Government of Nepal, mainly the Ministry of Urban Development, Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration.
As co-lead for camp coordination and camp management (CCCM) cluster in humanitarian emergencies, IOM Nepal contributes to government’s efforts in disaster risk reduction and building resilient communities.
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