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Nepali capital opens 84 spaces for emergency accommodation

(Xinhua)

13:23, December 27, 2011

KATHMANDU, Dec. 27 (Xinhua) -- Eighty-four spaces have been opened in Kathmandu that could be used for humanitarian support in the event of a crisis, such as earthquake, local press reported Tuesday.

If a major quake strikes Nepali capital city, more than 1 million people are likely to be homeless. One of the biggest challenges in the Kathmandu Valley will be finding spaces to accommodate the homeless, according to a study jointly conducted by the Ministry of Home Affairs and the International Organization for Migration.

In those 84 spaces, 792,698 Internal Displaced Persons (IDPs) can be accommodated, but in a very crowded condition, it is likely to increase other humanitarian problems like water crisis, sanitation and food, The Kathmandu Post reported.

The project has categorized large, medium and small areas in Kathmandu that have the potential to be used as accommodation centers or for other purposes for the IDPs.

According to the report, an estimated population of 3.5 million are currently living within the confines of the valley. Considering the high number of sub-standard constructions, a major earthquake measuring 9 on the Richter scale would destroy about 60 percent of these buildings.

The report recommends that schools be used as reception centers where IDPs may assemble for registration before their placement procedure could begin. For this, the government has to identify retrofitted schools in the valley as soon as possible, the report suggests, adding that a 3.15-million-square meter open area would be required to provide 900,000 people with covered shelters.

These areas could hold up to 118,051 people together and be suitable for long-term accommodation, with the provision of some of the site services within the camps, the report said.

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