United They Can-II
The unprecedented devastation and destruction inflicted by the massive quake have put the nation and the government on a spin. The resource-strapped nation needs huge assistance, donations and grants from the national and international community to expedite the relief, rebuilding and rehabilitation process in all the quake-hit districts. The scale of the devastation and utter lack of resources have brought to the fore one underlying fact: the government alone cannot expedite the rebuilding of damaged structures and rehabilitation of the displaced people. Due to this, the government is at a loss and has been facing a dilemma, which must have impelled Prime Minister Sushil Koirala to seek cooperation and collaboration from all the political parties to undertake the relief, reconstruction and rehabilitation works in a smooth manner.
The prime minister at a meeting of the National Reconstruction Consultative Committee called for collaboration and cooperation from the coalition partners as well as opposition political parties to tackle the challenges posed by the destructive temblor, stating that the nation can come out of the present calamitous crisis through collective efforts from the government, political parties and the people. The prime minister's call for collaboration and cooperation among the ruling and political parties justifiably underscored the need for unity among all the parties at this critical time because the government authorities have not yet been able to initiate the rehabilitation tasks as smoothly as desired, drawing flak from the common people, civil society, international community as well as the political parties. This persistent situation has spurred the prime minister to call for collaboration from all the political parties. This is no time for the political parties to be engaging in inter or intra party bickering, neither is it time for washing dirty linen in public for political gains. It is also not a time for the parties to involve in settling old scores.
It is quite reassuring to see the party brasses along with numerous party cadres of major political parties currently engaged in the relief and rehabilitation works across the worst quake-hit districts. The opposition and the ruling political parties have deputed their top party leaders and their cadres to the task after realising the gravity of the situation. In such a situation, unity, coordination and collaboration among all the political forces would certainly assist in expediting the relief, reconstruction and rehabilitation works. Since the absence of local elected bodies in the villages, towns and cities has made the relief distribution and rehabilitation of the affected masses a difficult task, lack of coordination among the local representatives of the political parties will only add to the people’s woes. Due to persistent lack of coordination and collaboration among the political parties and other concerned bodies, the relief materials and funds have not reached the actual victims in several parts of the country. There are charges that the relief funds and materials are being misappropriated by some unscrupulous elements. Also, the delay in rehabilitating the displaced people before the onset of the monsoon season has raised fears that the government and people might have to face another calamity once the rainy season starts.
All these problems can be sorted out effectively if the major political parties and concerned bodies join hands with the government in the relief distribution and rehabilitation works. As the political parties are also a stakeholder in the welfare of the state and the people affected by the catastrophe, they too need to work in tandem with the government to provide the necessary succor to the affected masses. All the impediments being confronted in the path of relief distribution and rehabilitation can be lifted once the government, political parties and the people at large stand in unity. These agencies can undertake all major responsibilities at this very crucial juncture quite easily if they stand united.
Narayan Kaji Shrestha is the secretariat member and spokesperson of the ruling Nepal Communist Party. Although he had staked his claim to the post of...