As a result of the earthquakes, a high number of public and private infrastructures collapsed blocking roads with the rubble, isolating villages and preventing aid deliveries. IOM successfully led the debris management working group within the Early Recovery Cluster and provided technical support to the Shelter Cluster in developing relevant information material for safe demolition and debris recycling. Immediately after the first earthquake, IOM launched a debris removal program, temporarily employing local laborers to clear rubble along the road to Chautara. As a result, Chautara became a humanitarian hub for the hard-hit district of Sindhupalchowk, the seat of the local government and a crucial transport corridor for aid supplies. Furthermore, IOM and partners engaged in larger and more complex demolitions. By March 2016, IOM had safely demolished and/or cleared debris from 295 public buildings, 35 private properties and 71 public areas in Sindhupalchowk, Dolakha, Dhading and Gorkha districts and the Kathmandu Valley. In the framework of its early recovery and debris management programme and through its cash for work activities, IOM has engaged over 3,600 local laborers.
IOM has identified that bolstering livelihoods programs is crucial to enabling individuals with the means to fulfill the owner-driven strategy of Early Recovery and shelter reconstruction. In the coming months, IOM plans to increase support for livelihoods activities with a focus on supporting individuals with Cash for Work. IOM will also explore opportunities to use its existing network and strong partnerships to play an active role in the reconstruction process of public spaces and community infrastructures. Moreover, IOM will pursue the demolition of hazardous structures to enhance public safety, increase access for the affected communities and provide physical space for reconstruction.