Nepal fires chief of earthquake reconstruction agency

Nepal fires chief of earthquake reconstruction agency

KATHMANDU, Nepal — Nepal’s government on Wednesday fired the chief of the agency assigned to rebuild the nearly 1 million homes and other structures damaged in a devastating 2015 earthquake, officials said.

The government removed Sushil Gyewali from his post because of delays in the reconstruction work, said Information Minister Surendra Karki. He said Gyewali was given two chances to explain the delays but his responses were not satisfactory.

Many people who lost their homes in the quake have been forced to spend two winters in temporary shelters. Both the government and Gyewali have been criticized for the delays.

The National Reconstruction Authority has said it has distributed the first installment of government grant money — about $500 to 450,000 families — but it is still collecting details from residents in several districts where the earthquake caused damage.

The April 25, 2015, earthquake killed nearly 9,000 people.

The reconstruction is expected to cost $7.86 billion. Foreign governments and aid agencies have pledged $4.1 billion for reconstruction.

The Associated Press