The 2015 Gorkha earthquake was a singular natural disaster that has defined Nepal’s economic development in the latter half of the 2010s. Hit particularly hard by the earthquake was the once-booming rainbow trout farming industry in the hill district of Nuwakot, located northwest of the national capital, Kathmandu. The district is blessed by the Himalayas with cold water streams that are favorable to rainbow trout. The farming of this fish is an economic boon in these far-flung parts, where most young people leave their ancestral homes for greener pastures. However, the 2015 earthquake decimated much of the infrastructure needed for its cultivation.
Though the earthquake struck half a decade ago, there are still lingering effects on the economy of these businesses, which are struggling to recuperate even now. How can natural disasters half a decade ago still affect people of the region? What was the Nepali government’s reconstruction plan, if any? How has rainbow trout farming continued after the earthquake?