Organisations geared up for disaster relief

Kathmandu, July 30:

With the monsoon in full swing, organisations working for the relief of disaster-hit people are all prepared and ready to move to the disaster hit areas and provide relief to the affected people.

Learning lessons from the last year when disaster triggered by incessant rainfall resulted in 312 deaths and directly affected some 500,000 people, Nepal Red Cross Society (NRCS), Home Ministry and other related organisations have already arranged necessary materials and trained manpower to provide relief to the disaster-hit people.

Nepal Red Cross Society (NRCS) has a stock of around 25,000 packets of non-food relief material for disaster victims. The packets includes emergency materials needed for a family like tent, kitchen utensils and clothes.

Sanjeev Kafle, director-Disaster Management Department at NRCS, said the non-food relief materials were stocked in NRCS regional warehouses in Biratnagar, Birgunj, Kanchanpur and Nepalgunj in zonal godowns in Pokhara and Bhairahawa.

“All district chapters have the stock of at least 100 such packets,” Kafle added.

Though NRCS does not have stock of food, it has Rs 2 million as emergency fund. “The fund will be transferred to the affected districts when it is needed and it will be used to procure food and other relief materials,” he added. He also said NRCS would coordinate with other organisations for relief works.

The NRCS has around 5,000 disaster management volunteers who are currently on a high alert. The Home Ministry has the budget of Rs 50 million and additional Rs 20-30 million accumulated over the last few years for the relief of disaster-hit people.

Thir Bahadur GC, chief at the Disaster Management Section at Ministry of Home Affairs, said they had demanded additional Rs 25 million from the Ministry of Finance. Besides, Prime

Minister’s Relief Fund can also be utilised for relief works, he added.

GC also said the District Disaster Relief Committees were on high alert and district action plans had been made for immediate response in cases of natural disasters.

“Ministry of Health, Population and Environment is also prepared to prevent communicable diseases during disasters,” he said.

According to NRCS, more than 40 people lost their lives, 12 were injured and 249 families have been displaced by floods and landslides in the country since June 10.