Disaster assessment guideline enacted

Kathmandu, February 28

The Ministry of Home Affairs has enacted Disaster Assessment Guideline, 2016 in a bid to make search, rescue and relief operation effective through quick and multi-cluster initial preliminary assessment in the aftermath of natural disasters.

While the government had been using various tools and techniques to carry out these functions in the past, the guideline aims to handle disaster assessment in an integrated and coordinated manner.

The guideline will be brought into implementation by concerned chief district officers with direct involvement humanitarian agencies, including Nepal Red Cross Society, and in coordination with district disaster relief committees and national, regional and district-level emergency operation centres.

The enactment of the guideline follows the April 25 devastating earthquake, which claimed nearly 9,000 lives and caused huge damage to physical infrastructures.

According to the MoHA, the guideline is expected to assist the sectoral stakeholders in maintaining uniformity of data.

All the concerned ministries, departments, agencies, NRCS, UN agencies, non-government agencies and community organisations will be required to follow this guideline while carrying out disaster assessment.

Nepal is more vulnerable to disasters like earthquake, flood, landslide, fire, epidemic, drought and lightning.

The guideline provides four stages of disaster assessment. They include initial rapid assessment, multi-cluster initial rapid assessment, cluster-specific detailed assessment and post-disaster damage and need assessment.

“This guideline requires the government to complete initial rapid assessment within 24 hours of any disaster before carrying out multi-cluster initial rapid assessment.

It also guides the authorities in recovery operations that commences from the 45th day of the disaster,” said a MoHA official.