TI-N urges validating data on quake victims

Published On: January 23, 2017 12:20 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Jan 23: Expressing serious concerns over the discrepancies in the details related to the earthquake victims, the Transparency International-Nepal (TI-N) has urged the government to conduct data validation in the earthquake-affected districts before distributing the second tranche of the housing reconstruction grant. 

In a meeting with Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, who chairs the steering committee of the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA), a team from the TI-N, a non-governmental organization involved in the fight against corruption, on Sunday warned that the discrepancies in the details if not addressed promptly could cause problems in the districts. "There is a risk of misuse of state funds, victims will not get justice, and forgery could occur," states a memorandum submitted to Prime Minister Dahal on behalf of TI-N.
After condlucting field study in 11 district outside the Kathmandu Valley worst hit by the earthquake, the TI-N has concluded that several genuine victims are still deprived of the government succour, there have been duplication in aid distribution and discrepancies in collecting details of earthquake damage. "That's why there is an urgent need for data validation in all worst-hit 14 districts without further delay. And a third party should be mobilized for this task," states the report.
The NRA had conducted a detailed damaged assessment in all earthquake affected districts following complaints that the details earthquake damage details were not accurate.  Still, the TI-N believes discrepancies are rampant.  Over 200,000 complaints have been registered by the victims disagreeing with the details on earthquake victims released by the government.  

Stating that distribution of the first tranche of the reconstruction grant to the victim residing outside the Kathmandu Valley was a remarkable progress, the TI-N has said that most of the victims have not used the money for reconstruction. "So, a sampling survey is needed to see how the first tranche of the reconstruction grant has been used by the victims," state the memorandum. 

During the meeting, the TI-N team urged Prime Minister Dahal to do the needful to ensure transparency in post-earthquake reconstruction work. The team called for making public the reconstruction expenditures and related decisions on a monthly basis. 

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