Bara & Parsa Storm: Nepali Army completes construction of 869 homes

  • September 5, 2019

Left: NA clears debris left behind by the hurricane, Right: CoAS Thapa hands over home model to Acting Prime Minister Pokharel. (Image: NA)

Nepali Army (NA) has completed the ‘Janta Awash Reconstruction Home’ – a reconstruction effort to rehabilitate families affected by the Bara and Parsa Storm on 31st March, 2019. In a commendable effort, NA completed the reconstruction of 869 homes – 807 in Bara and 62 in Parsa. The Taskforce started the reconstruction on the ground from May 19, 2019 (Jestha 05, 2076), in three stages by dividing the affected districts into 12 clusters.

After completing the project, Nepali Army in the presence of the Chief Guest Honorable Mr. Ishwar Pokhrel, Officiating Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, Honorable Lalbabu Rawat, Chief Minister Province 2, distributed the ‘House Handover Certificates’ to the heads of the respective local levels of affected Bara and Parsa District during a ‘Closing & Handing-over’. The ceremony was organised in Birgunj.

Chief of the Army Staff (CoAS) General Purna Chandra Thapa said that the NA accomplished the house construction task upon the instruction of the Federal government. CoAS Thapa first handed over the land documents and house construction completion report to Acting Prime Minister Pokharel (in essence to the Federal Government). Acting Prime Minister Pokharel in turn handed over the same documents to CM Raut (to the provincial government).  Likewise, CM Raut handed over the same documents to the chiefs of the tornado-hit local bodies (to the local government).

The local bodies will hand over the houses to the concerned victims by organising a special function.

A commendable effort: 

While construction of more houses remain, the efforts of Nepali Army is commendable.

Racing against the clock to finish the project before the monsoons (which they still weren’t able to completely do), they had officially begun the work in May. 700 engineers and 6000 workers, including army personnel and locals, braved the scorching heat, at day and night, even when the mercury shot up to 42 degrees Celsius, to complete the housing project.

Nepalese Army and other security personnel were the first responders after the Bara and Parsa storm on March 31. Their efforts to provide immediate assistance, assist in removal of debris, and now in reconstructing the houses has won them the respect of many locals.

It cost Rs. 485,000 to build each house for the tornado victims. The government had allocated Rs 545,985 per home. NA was also able to sace 61,100 from each house.  Each house has two rooms, one kitchen room, and one toilet. The houses are environment-friendly and natural disaster resilience.

Bara and Parsa Storm: 

A woman stares at the remainder of her home. UNICEF Nepal/2019/AKarki
A woman stares at the remainder of her home. UNICEF Nepal/2019/AKarki

On March 31st, 2019, in the evening, residents of Bara and Parsa were caught in a storm – a kind of storm they had never seen earlier. More than a 1000 homes were destroyed, an estimated 500 injured, and 28 people lost their lives. Later, the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology classified the windstorm as a tornado, Nepal’s first, and also warned to ‘expect more’.