Kalaiya, Bara, June 13, 2019

Humanitarian Accountability Monitoring Initiative (HAMI) organized policy dialogue at Kalaya, Bara on June 13, 2019 in collaboration with National Alliance for Human Rights and Social Justice-Nepal and Protection Nepal, Bara. In the program, the chief guest was Hon’ble Dr. Bijay Dutt, Chairperson of National Madhesi Commission. The program was chaired by Krishna Lama, Chair of Human Rights Bara Chapter. In the program, windstorm affected people; representatives from local level governments, government bodies, CSOs (donor agencies and non-governmental organizations) and media sectors took part. In the program, Bidur Subedi, HAMI presented overall objective of the HAMI that has been working in humanitarian accountability monitoring campaigns in disaster affected areas; whereas, Om Prakash Giri from Protection Nepal, Bara and Govinda Poudel, Human Rights Activist presented a paper on “Existing Reconstruction Progress in Bara and Parsa after Windstorm: Challenges in Socio-cultural Issues”. The paper covered the existing problems and challenges in Nepal Army led reconstruction faced by the affected people due to policy challenges and their effective execution along with current situational status in reconstruction in the districts.

The chief guest, Hon’ble Dr. Bijay Dutt, Chairperson of National Madhesi Commission shared his concern over quality and timely completing reconstruction process. He also asserted for need of installing technology to inform potential disasters so that necessary and formation of Natural Disaster Management Authority or Commission. Dr. Padma Prasad Khatiwada, General Secretary, Human Rights Alliance shared recent and ongoing humanitarian monitoring activities by HAMI. He assured that raised issues in this reconstruction process after the storm in Bara and Parsa will be taken to the policy makers or decision makers. Paras Shah, Province 2 Assembly Member reminded encouraging contribution in humanitarian activities in relief distribution phase. However, reconstruction progress has not been as per the expectation. Collective groups of committee could be formed so that all of the stakeholders’ active engagement could be ensured. In the program, Kalawati Paswan, Province 2 Legislative Member; Pawan Kumar Byahut, Vice-Chair District Coordination Committee, Bara; Bhola Prasad Gupta, Chairperson Parsauni Rural Municipality, Bara; Pawan Kumar Byahut, Vice-Chair District Coordination Committee, Bara; Kalawati Paswan, Province 2 Assembly Member presented their views and critical observation on reconstruction process in Bara and Parsa districts. According to them, despite commendable support from all the sectors during rescue and relief distribution phase, reconstruction process of led by the Nepal Army has not been without at criticism due to lack of unanimity in identification of actual beneficiaries. Number of affected families in actual number, records provided by local units, and finalized by district disaster management committee has been different; hence, tension has emerged in the community affecting daily lives.

Meanwhile, HAMI and HRA team members visit the affected one of the communities of Kalaya-18, Bhalwain community of Motisar, Bara. A brief informal interaction was held with the representatives from Nepal Army who were mobilized in construction of houses, beneficiaries, and affected but not included in the beneficiary list. There has been apparent discrimination while collecting data of beneficiaries as noticeable number of families have been left out just because they have different political faith than the newly elected local level representatives (mainly Ward Chairperson) resulting cases of tensions among the people. There is need of providing livelihood based support to the affected families and awareness activities have to be carried out as well.