Where we went wrong in Nepal or Nicaragua 2.0
Unless you have news sources inside Nepal you might be missing this, but now that Nepal’s government has asked the first-responders to leave, claiming its intention is to handle the recovery on its own; partially as a sovereignty issue, partly out of a misplaced sense of pride, you can be forgiven for not having drawn the parallel between Nicaragua under Somoza in the post-earthquake days in the early 70's and Nepal in 2015, but you might want to.
With reports of internal corruption and mismanagement from districts and villages to the government itself, coupled with the refusal of aid based on a bureaucracy that would cause a French civil servant to blush; there’s something rotten in the air in Nepal and it’s not just a few bad apples.
The misappropriation of relief materials in the early part of the relief effort was just one slender thread of a larger story, one involving greed and its constant companion, corruption. Large numbers of average Nepalis living in the districts affected by the quakes have yet to see any of the international or government relief in their wards. So, where has it all gone?
Now, here’s where the Nepali government has decided not to take a lesson from history and has opted to dangerously follow Somoza and his inner circle; in districts where the government has failed to help the people, the remnants of the defeated Maoist movement have been stepping in, becoming by modern standards the Robin Hood of their time.
The Maoists know a good opportunity when they see one and the sitting government in Nepal has handed them a golden opportunity to gain popular support; again, shades of post-quake Nicaragua.
The question still remains as to the sitting government’s next move. Promise after promise with no follow through can only stave off the population and the international community for so long.
The government of Nepal has a critical but rather simple choice to make; allow waffling and internal corruption to rule the day? Or step up, deploy the army and police to serve and protect the people and in the process avoid following the well worn path to political self-destruction and learn something useful from the history of Nicaragua.