14 September 2015 | The participants at the national level interaction on rebuilding Bungamati voiced for adopting people’s process to ensure inclusive and participatory rebuilding approach so that the local culture can be conserved and people will get benefits through innovative economic activities.
After a series of local level consultations and an intensive assessment of resources including cultural and social values of Bungamati, Katholic University of Leuven (KU Leuven) of Belgium, Shelter Program of ARCADIS and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) shared findings and proposed an action plan that could be rolled out immediately to rebuild Bungamati. The findings were shared by Annelies De Nijs and Stefanie Dens from KU Leuven.
This initiative aims to demonstrate how traditional settlements of Kathmandu Valley can be revitalized and made livable and vibrant townships through people's 'process'. The approach envisioned includes providing support to build local institutions, develop the charter and support to build funding mechanism.
Sharing about the damages due to earthquake in Bungamati, Prem Bhakta Maharjan, Chairperson of the Bungamati Temporary Shelter and Reconstruction Committee highlighted the importance of cultural values and identities of Bungamati and emphasized on adopting participatory approach in rebuilding where local people can make their voluntary contribution (in cash or kind).
Professor Sudarshan Raj Tiwari suggested in bringing in more local perspectives in rebuilding Bungamati so that the architecture and social identities will be further bolstered. He also stressed on the need for more dialogues combining both dimensions – the architecture and engineering strengths.
Appreciating the initiative taken by the local community and stakeholders like UN-Habitat in restoring the cultural identity and values of Bungamati, Padma Mainalee, Joint Secretary Housing at the Ministry of Urban Development stressed on the need to further define the approach in rebuilding Bungamati so that all stakeholders can make their meaningful contribution in this process. He further remarked that the strategies for affordable housing, rebuilding and expansion in settlements like Bungamati should build on the extensive heritage and cultural legacies of Nepal and Kathmandu Valley.
A half-day interaction program was organized at the Department of Urban Development and Building Construction conference hall on 14th September, 2015.
UN-Habitat and its partners are working together with local community on fund raising proposals to materialize this initiative.
The written stone inscription from 605 AD mentions this prosperous medieval town of Bungamati has passed through long history in its being. Bungamati lies under newly established Karyabinayak Municipality in the south of Kathmandu Valley which is famous for the main temple of Machhindranath. The town is popular for wood carving and handicrafts and is one of the proposed heritage sites to UNESCO listing. With total households of 1114 this town is primarily resided by Newars.
The earthquake has damaged 854 houses, killed 6 people and injured more than 100. At present most of the families are living in temporary shelters