Living in Kathmandu it’s way too easy to be critical of this country, which often means critical of the government and the ‘establishment’. Red tape, corruption, injustice and neglect are just some of the terms that can easily be used to describe those who wield power in this place.
Of course, this is just part of the picture: because those are exactly the issues that the media focuses on (writes the former and still sometimes journalist) they tend to be emphasised. But I know that there are positive things happening here, from the macro view of issues like declining maternal mortality and improving child health, to the growth of micro-enterprises in Kathmandu run by young Nepalis who have chosen to return home from studying overseas.
I’m going to make a bigger effort from now on to highlight this positive news, especially as concerns local governments, which were revived nearly 2 years ago after 19 years of being sidelined. I’ll start with this article from the recent issue of Nepali Times:
Reconstruction picks up pace after local elections force Nepal’s mayors to build back faster
Sonam Choekyi Lama March 22, 2019
Of all the parts of Kathmandu Valley worst hit in the April 2015 earthquake was the historic town of Sankhu. But this is also where elected local officials have achieved the most remarkable progress in rebuilding.
At a time when the central government in Kathmandu has been blamed for unnecessary delays and excessive bureaucracy in helping survivors rebuild homes, Sankhu is a model of how devolution of decision-making to municipal governments can speed things up.