Kathmandu, February 21
Due to rapid urbanisation in the country, the government has started formulating a comprehensive strategy to set the livelihood framework, mitigate the risks caused by disasters and climate change, and manage public property resources in the urban areas.
The strategy named ‘National Strategy on Resilient Communities’ (NSRUC), which will be prepared by the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development (MoFALD), has aimed to minimise the losses of physical properties caused by disasters by initiating a better plan for developing new cities.
“Economic losses caused by disasters are higher due to lack of proper planning in urban areas,” said Kunti Kumari Shahi, state minister at MoFALD. “If we are able to frame better plans while developing new cities then natural disasters will not affect our goal to be a developed country in the long run.”
Minister Shahi was speaking during the inauguration of a workshop organised by MoFALD and Oxfam UK to prepare the strategy. MoFALD has been preparing the strategy with the support of Oxfam UK.
MoFALD started preparing the strategy in the aftermath of the earthquakes of April and May last year that caused massive losses and damages worth billions of rupees.
In the face of increasing frequency and intensity of climatic and natural disasters, vulnerabilities arising from rapid and unplanned urbanisation must be assessed and minimised if cities are to become safer than at present, as per Bimal Gadal, director, Sustainable Development Directorate, Oxfam UK.
“The NSRUC precisely aims to meet this aspiration of urban development.”
Country has been moving towards rapid urbanisation. Currently, over 42 per cent population of the country lives in 217 municipalities in the country. The strategy will be prepared by March this year and will be executed by municipalities.
A version of this article appears in print on February 22, 2006 of The Himalayan Times.