Nepal, 21 January, 2016 - Every 16 January, Nepal commemorates the mega-earthquake of 1934 by having the Earthquake Safety Day. This year’s event saw the launching of the National Reconstruction Authority, which will oversee the reconstruction campaign in the wake of the 25 April 2015 earthquake.
The heavily-affected historical Kathmandu Valley township Bungamati was chosen for the launch and His Excellency the Prime Minister, Mr. Khadga Prasad Oli, and cabinet members attended the event. A tripartite Memorandum by Karyabinayak Municipality, the Bungamati Reconstruction Committee and UN-Habitat was signed towards their continued collaboration for the reconstruction of Bungamati and the sustainable urban development of the municipality.
UN-Habitat has been providing assistance towards the urban planning of Bungamati and the municipality over the past six months, with the assistance of teams of volunteers from local universities, the University of Leuven (Belgium) and the ARCADIS Shelter Programme. UN-Habitat was represented by its Nepal Habitat Programme Manager, Mr. Padma S. Joshi. UN-Habitat's Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific has supported the response to the earthquake with financial assistance from China, Japan, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK. UN-Habitat and IOM currently co-chair the Housing Recovery and Reconstruction Platform, a government-supported initiative coordinating the actions of more than 60 shelter organisations.