- What agencies are likely to play key roles in the response and follow-up recovery planning?
- What are the laws that govern disaster management in Nepal?
- What is the relationship between national and local level government on disaster management?
Building back safer
Current lessons are still emerging in the response and will be highlighted on an on-going basis.
- Need for strong focus on preparedness. This 7.8 earthquake is still not the worst case scenario for Kathmandu. A bigger earthquake is still possible and likely in the years to come:
Source: Kathmandu's earthquake nightmare, Cosmos, 2014.
The British Red Cross, Nepal Red Cross, and Groupe URD completed a study on urban preparedness in Kathmandu in 2014 -- 'Urban Preparedness: Lessons from the Kathmandu Valley'.
- Urban response presents a new set of challenges, as highlighted in the response to the Haiti erthquake and the Typhoon Haiyan Response in the Philippines -- Responding to Urban Disasters: Learning from previous relief and recovery operations (ALNAP, 2012)
- Earthquake responses from the past have also produced important insights -- 'Responding to Earthquakes: Learning from earthquake relief and recovery operations' (ALNAP, 2008)
- Food security lessons from Typhoon Haiyan / Yolanda developed by the Food Security Cluster urban group -- 'Lessons Learned in the Urban Response: Philippines Typhoon Haiyan Level 3 Emergency'.
MoHA and Central Natural Disaster Relief Committee
As the the lead responsible agency for disaster response and management in Nepal, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) is accountable for preparing national policies and ensuring their implementation. MoHA is also responsible for rescue and relief works, data collection, dissemination and collection and distribution of funds and resources to the affected population through the structured process.
The Central Natural Disaster Relief Committee (CNDRC), chaired by the Home Minister, includes related ministries and security agencies along with voluntary organizations like the Red Cross to provide coordination between agencies in disaster response and management. The Central Committee is supported by several Working Committees -- including the Relief and Treatment Sub-committee chaired by Ministry of Health and Population; Supply, Shelter and Rehabilitation sub-committee chaired by the Ministry of Physical Planning, Work & Transportation Management. The role of the CNDRC is cascaded to the regional and district levels through corresponding regional and district committees. The roles of the these committees are outlined here.
- Nepal Risk Reduction Consortium (NRRC)
In February 2011, the Government of Nepal launched the Nepal Risk Reduction Consortium (NRRC). The NRRC is a unique body that unites the Government of Nepal, the international financial institutions of the Asian Development Bank and World Bank, development partners and donors, the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, and the United Nations to support the GoN to implement a long term Disaster Risk Reduction Action Plan.FlagshipCoordinatorGovernment Lead1. School and Hospital SafetyADB & WHOMinistry of Education & Ministry of Health and Population2. Emergency Preparedness and Response Capacity UNOCHA Ministry of Home Affairs3. Flood Management in the Kosi River BasinWorld BankMinistry of Irrigation4. Integrated Community Based Disaster Risk ReductionIFRCMinistry of Federal Affairs and Local Development5. Policy/Institutional Support for Disaster Risk ManagementUNDPMinistry of Home Affairs
Further background on the consortium is available in the 'Nepal Risk Reduction Consorium Flagship Programmes' report produced by the NRRC in 2013.
- Civil society
- Disaster Preparedness Network Nepal (DPNet Nepal)
DPNet Nepal was established in 1996 as a national Network of organizations and individuals working in the field of Disaster Risk Management (DRM) in Nepal. it serves as a platform for coordination, capacity building, networking, awareness-raising, trainings, and mainstreaming DRR into development.
The Nepal Red Cross Society (NRCS) was established in 1963 and is the largest humanitarian organization in Nepal, with its network of District Chapters (DCs) in each of the 75 districts of the country. District Chapters receive organizational support from more than 800 Sub-Chapters and Co-operation Committees under them and from students and youth volunteers in Nepal Junior and Youth Red Cross Circles organized at schools, campuses and communities. The organization is deeply involved in disaster response and relief activities like preparedness, mitigation and also provides relief materials for disaster victims.
The National Society for Earthquake Technology-Nepal (NSET) was established in 1993 with an objective to reduce the impacts of future earthquakes by integrating the latest scientific research in the field of earthquake science and engineering into disaster management and construction practice in Nepal and elsewhere in the world.
The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) is a Nepal based regional knowledge development and learning centre serving eight regional member countries of the Hindu Kush-Himalayas -- Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan. Its mission is to enable and facilitate the equitable and sustainable well-being of the people of the Hindu Kush-Himalayas by supporting sustainable development through active regional cooperation. Since its inception, it is mainly working to assist mountain people to understand ecology and environment of Himalayas and involve them in its conservation. It is actively engaged in issues related to disaster management and climate change.
- Analysis of legislation related to disaster risk reduction in Nepal
The IFRC published an analysis of legislation related to DRR in Nepal in 2011. The case study covers i) existing good practices, ii) gaps in the legal framework or its implementation, and iii) the DRR potential of existing laws.
- The Natural Calamity (Relief) Act. 2039 BS was passed by the Nepal government in 1982. The act outlines the establishment of various government coordination committees and their membership, duties, roles and responsibilities at different levels – central, regional and local – for disaster response.
- The National Strategy for Disaster Risk Management in Nepal (NSDRMN) is the primary policy document to guide the changes required to achieve the goal of disaster resilient Nepal by providing guidance for improving the policy and legal environment, and by prioritizing the strategic interventions. The NSDRMN complements the National Calamity Reilief Act. "It has put forth suggestions regarding institutional reorganization and development, and strategic improvement in the existing policy and legal environment for creating an enabling atmosphere for encouraging disaster risk reduction (DRR) and preparedness planning at all levels as well as for mainstreaming DRR strategies into the national development and poverty alleviation agenda."
- The National Disaster Response Framework (NDRF) is clear, concise and comprehensive guide for an effective and coordinated national response in case of a large and medium scale of disasters in Nepal. The scope of this framework is limited to the preparedness and response at national, regional, district and local levels. For the reason, the framework has two different matrixes; one of the matrixes deals about response timeline (12 hrs, 24 hrs, 48 hrs, 72 hrs, a week and a month long response) and another matrix highlights the roles and responsibilities of the concerned Ministries, Departments, Divisions, UN Agencies, UN Clusters, Red Cross Movement, I/NGOs; and CBOs. The concerned agencies are responsible to prepare the future course of actions on emergency response preparedness (49 Activities mentioned).
- The role of the Central Natural Disaster Relief Committee (CNDRC) is cascaded to the regional and district levels through corresponding regional and district committees. The roles of the these committees are outlined here.
Building back safer
Multi-hazard approach to preparedness
- Safe housing and settlements
Groups like NSET have worked for years to promote safe construction practice in Nepal. NSET has published guidance for both structural measures and non-structural measures for earthquake preparedness.
With the support of the Nepal Department of Urban Development and Building Construction (DUDBC), IFRC, in close cooperation with the Nepal Red Cross Society (NRCS), conducted a study on “Regulatory barriers to providing emergency and transitional shelter after disasters” in Nepal. The study examines potential issues with land use planning, security of tenure, implementation of building codes, and equitable access to emergency and transitional shelter assistance. The report includes several suggested ways forward, including the development of a comprehensive, government-owned contingency plan for emergency and transitional shelter in preparation for a potential large-scale earthquake in Kathmandu Valley, as well as the development of an emergency and transitional shelter handbook for practitioners.
Effective settlement planning has been another challenge to building resilience in Nepal. To guide urban planning, the Earthquakes and Megacities Initiative (EMI) has worked closely with the Kathmandu municipality to produce a Risk-Sensitive Land Use Plan for Kathmandu and related guidance.
UN-Habitat's Urban Housing Sector Profile for Nepal that studies five key elements related to urban housing and settlement - land, basic services, housing finance, building materials and construction technologies, and labour - and that gives particular attention to the situation of those living living in informal settlements. USAID's Nepal Land Tenure Profile provides a similar analysis of land use, land distribution, and tenure types in Nepal.
Recent recovery experience in Haiti and elsewhere has highlighted the importance of integrated approaches that link livelihoods with preparedness and resilience measures.
Cash grants are likely to be a significant part of the assistance provided by the Red Cross and others.
Also important will be the focus on small business recovery.
Making sure that school facilities are safe (to protect students and offer places for community sheltering) and that youth are promoted as leaders for preparedness and resilience initiatives provides a solid anchoring point for preparedness measures in community services and institutions. Amod Dixit from NSET has published an article on 'Earthquake Risk Assessment for Earthquake Risk Management: An Example of Improving Seismic Performance of Publis Schools'. NSET has also published a wider range of materials for school earthquake safety and perparedness.
Save the Children and Plan International are both active in Nepal and would be potential partners for school-based youth activities on preparedness and resilience.
- Red Cross
- Nepal Red Cross, as mentioned above.
- The American Red Cross has partnered with the Nepal Red Cross since 2009 in 1) the Community Action for Disaster Response (CADRE) programme (developing and strengtheng community disaster response teams based on the OFDA PEER program and training 576 CADRE volunteers from 96 communities in eight districts of Nepal) and 2) school disaster preparedness in 220 schools (including First Aid, and light search and rescue). These investments were in some of the districts most heavily hit by the eatrhquake, including Bhaktapur, Nuwakot and Kathmandu.
- Since 2012, the British Red Cross has been supporting the Nepal Red Cross to help people in the Kathmandu valley prepare better for disasters, with a focus on earthquakes. The program is helping 66 communities to i) identify local hazards and increase awareness of the risks, ii) develop and implement plans so the community is ready to respond to disasters, and iv) respond to disasters more efficiently by training first responders with skills in emergency first aid, and search and rescue. Key outputs from the program include:
'Urban Preparedness: Lessons from the Kathmandu Valley' , British Red Cross, Nepal Red Cross, and Goupe URD, 2014.
- The IFRC has been working with the Nepal Red Cross to implement an SMS messaging system using TERA SMS messaging system for benficiary communication and awareness raising.
- NSET as mentioned above.
- ICIMOD as mentioned above.
- The Institute for Social and Environmental Transition-Nepal (ISET-Nepal) was established in 2001 to study and analyse developmental issues of rapidly changing social and environmental context that demand new insights into the emerging challenges to manage resources for sustainable development. ISET-Nepal has designed and implemented a wide variety of projects related to urban resilience, climate change adapation, and risk reduction.
- The Lumanti Support Group for Shelter and and members of the Cooperative Women’s Federation joined in 2009 in an effort to increase awareness of disaster risk management policies.
- Local and national government
- The Earthquake and Megacities Initiative (EMI) is a hybrid organization that is part network, part consulting firm. It is but headquartered in Manila. EMI has been very active in looking at supporting local governments to pursue disaster risk management and has been key advisor on various UN-ISDR and World Bank GFDRR initiatives. EMI has worked closely with the Kathmandu municipality to produce a Risk-Sensitive Land Use Plan for Kathmandu and other guidance.
- UNDP and the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center have supported the Nepal government to strengthen capacity building, partnership, and knowledge management through the Comprehensive Disaster Risk Management Program. In addition the ADPC has supported the Nepal Red Cross in rolling out the rolling out the Community Action for Disaster Response (CADRE) program. These programs could provide a potential springboard for integrating further disaster preparedness programs as part of the current earthquake response.
- Within the Government of Nepal, the Ministry of Urban Development (MOUD) and the Department of Urban Development and Building Construction (DUDBC) have constructed a new government-led framework for a “National Plan of Action for Safer Buildings.” MOUD/DUDBC partners with different agencies, including USAID/OFDA, NSET, and UNDP, i) to work toward improved programming for safer building construction and ii) ensure the proper enforcement in building code implementation.
- Nepal has one of the largest diaspora communities in the world with approximately 1.5 million Nepali living and working outside of Nepal. Nepali living outside of Nepal may be a source of continued recovery support if they see that the Red Cross or other civil society programs are strong and helping those in need.
- Earthquake Safe Building Practices in Nepal: Video Toolkit (UNDP)
- What are the tricks for Constructing Earthquake-resistant Buildings? (NSET)
- Retrofitting of Commmon Frame Structural (Pillar System) Houses (NSET)
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