Govt promises effective handling of disasters

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, June 10:

Member of National Planning Commission Dr Hari Krishna Upadhyaya said today that the government would work sincerely to implement disaster preparedness programmes.

Admitting the government’s failure to address the prevention of disaster damages, he said the government would stress on prevention and preparedness. “On the one hand, all the programmes have not been implemented; on the other, other plans have not been implemented satisfactory,” he said, promising a new government strategy to deal with disaster issues. “The 10th National Plan did address disaster issues, but conventionally, we have been interpreting the disaster preparedness into distribution of relief materials and so on. It will soon end and we will work equally hard on areas of preparedness and early warning development system,” he said, urging all to broaden the perspective to look at disaster issues.

He was addressing a workshop on disaster preparedness, organised by SAP Nepal. He said for successful implementation of the diaster mitigation programme, effective cooperation of the government bodies and non-government sector is essential. Disaster expert Dr Min Bahadur Paudyal Chhetri said the government’s disaster mitigation programmes have not been effective due to weak policies, a weak database, lack of technology and specialisation.

“The tenth national plan only mentions about it and the National Planning Commission is not serious and is limited to water-induced disasters. The National Plan of Action of 1996 has made good decisions but it did not allocate budget, neither the owner of the programme is indicated,” he said. Shyam Sundar Gyawali, the team leader of Action Aid Nepal, stressed on the need for new legal provisions on disaster mitigation.