| October 25, 2020

Gorkha authorities to expel wayward I/NGOs

GORKHA, June 1: Local authorities in Gorkha have decided to take action against some domestic and international non-governmental organizations (I/NGO) that are operating in the district without coordinating with them.

Issuing a directive on Monday to regulate I/NGOs, Chief District Officer (CDO) Narayan Bhatta said I/NGOs operating in the district without coordinating with the district authorities will face action.
"We'll bar the aid organizations from working in the district if they fail to present their expenditure details within a week. Several organizations have been found not operating in the areas prioritized by the government," said CDO Bhatta, who is also the chairman of the District Disaster Relief Committee (DDRC), Gorkha.

The District Development Committee (DDC) will write to the I/NGOs to submit the budgetary and operational details of their respective projects within a week, according to him. "If they failed to submit their reports within seven days, they will have to leave Gorkha," he said.

Following widespread allegations that several I/NGOS were working in the district aribtrarily, a DDRC taskforce has studied the situation and prepared a report. As per the report, only 15 I/NGOs have submitted their budgetary and operational details. Also, the local beneficiaries were found unhappy with the I/NGOs work.

"Although we have emailed them twice to provide us their project details, over 45 I/NGOs have not submitted the details," taskforce coordinator Dipendra Subedi said.

IMC, IOM, ICHO Nepal, Nepal Red Cross Society, UNICEF, Phase Nepal, UN Women, and MADE Nepal are among the organizations that have not submitted their reports to the DDRC taskforce. DDRC officials said although most of these are working actively in the district, they have not been coordinating with the authorities including the DDRC and the DDC.

The I/NGOs have conducted many software activities such as awareness raising and advocacy, but have failed to undertake hardware activities [which are physically measurable], according to Local Development Officer (LDO) Narayan Acharya.

"We won't allow them to work if their is no visible impact of their work," he said. "And those operating arbitrarily will be expelled from the district."

CDO Bhatta alleged that several NGOs and INGOs currently working in the district have failed to address the needs of the local earthquake victims. "First they need to make an assessment, and then undertake their activities accordingly. The local demand is one thing while their programs are something else," he said.

Due to lack of proper coordination between the aid organizations and local government authorities, the billions of rupees spent in the district targeting earthquake victims have failed to bring visible impact.

Meanwhile, Kishor Jung Thapa, the chairman of Consumer Welfare Protection Forum, criticized the local government for the failure to set priorities for the NGOs and INGOs and also for issuing an unclear directive.

Interestingly, no representative from the NGOs and INGOs was present at the function organized by the district authorities to issue the directive aimed at regulating aid organizations.