Kathmandu, July 6
Monsoon has already entered Nepal. But as in the past, the government has not adequately prepared itself to tackle possible disasters in terms of precautionary measures and emergency response and relief.
There still remains a huge coordination gap among government, non-governmental, humanitarian, inter-governmental and development agencies as well as the private sector in relation to tackling natural disasters, including floods and landslides across the country, according to a senior government official.
Under-secretary at the Ministry of Home Affairs Shankar Hari Acharya, who heads the National Emergency Operation Centre at MoHA, said there was lack of coordination among the concerned agencies and stakeholders when it came to tackling incidents of floods and landslides and minimising possible losses.
An average of 300 people die each year due to floods and landslides in Nepal, which is ranked the 30th most vulnerable country in the world to floods and landslides. The country has suffered annual economic damage exceeding US$ 10 million.
According to updates made available by the home ministry, at least 32 persons have been killed and nine are still missing in floods and landslides that struck parts of the nation in the last two months.
Several districts, including Saptari in the east and Kaski in the western development region, also recorded fatal water-induced disasters in the last couple of days. “Since mid-April, the death toll from natural disasters has reached 497 across the country till date,” the MoHA record shows.
Admitting the government’s lack of preparedness in dealing with the monsoon floods and landslides, NEOC Chief Acharya said that delay in adoption of integrated Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act had adversely affected the preparedness or response and recovery tasks during disasters and such a situation had also led to absence of coordination among different agencies attending to disaster-related issues.
Some of the immediate actions such as enhancing the capacity of search and rescue teams, storing sufficient relief materials, identifying and preserving open spaces and increasing the engagement of people in disaster management, among others, must be taken to minimise losses, he pointed out.
A senior officer at the Office of the Prime Minister said there was no significant progress in terms of having in place emergency response and preparedness actions that had been set in different disaster-related documents including in the National Disaster Response Framework or the National Disaster Risk Reduction Policy and Strategic Action Plan, prepared by development agencies that spent millions of rupees.
According to him, the development agencies and a handful of INGOs often use the issues of climate change and disaster management or preparedness as a cash cow in Nepal. “For instance, the nation suffers loss worth hundreds of million rupees every year due to water-induced disasters, while development agencies spend millions of rupees annually in Nepal under the heads of climate change and disaster risk management or preparedness.”
Flood and landslide incidents
|Year||No of Incidents||Deaths||Missing||Injured|
A version of this article appears in print on July 07, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.
DAMAULI: An electric vehicle charging station has come into operation at Dumre in Bandipur Rural Municipality-1 of Tanahun district, on Friday. Tanahun Division Forest Office provided Rs 500,000 for setting up the station, first of its kind in the district, said Chief at the Office, Kedar Bar Read More...
RAUTAHAT: Tarai districts are at a high risk of floods as water level has risen alarmingly after incessant rainfall in hilly and Chure region in recent days. Locals residing on the banks of Bagmati and Lalbakiya rivers in Rautahat and Sarlahi districts have been living in terror of floods as Read More...
KATHMANDU: The COVID-19 pandemic has sickened 16,649 people and left 35 dead in Nepal as of July 10. But the full toll of this catastrophe has been incalculably greater. The health system has been overwhelmed and the economy has been greatly impacted. Women and girls have been disproportionately af Read More...
KATHMANDU: Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli today said that the government's entire focus is currently on saving lives of people who face threats from the coronavirus pandemic as well as from natural disasters. In his address to the nation on Friday night, PM Oli reiterated that people have to still Read More...
NYON: Bayern Munich will face Barcelona or Napoli in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, if they can defend their three goal lead against Chelsea in their last 16 second leg game. The Champions League will resume in August after being halted in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic with Read More...
KATHMANDU, JULY 10 National Human Rights Commission Chairman Anup Raj Sharma has drawn flak for issuing a press release condemning NHRC member Mohna Ansari for criticising Samajwadi Party-Nepal’s decision to expel Sarita Giri from both the party and the House of Representatives. Sharma h Read More...
KATHMANDU, JULY 10 Various victim groups of Nepal have made a joint submission to the 37th Session of the Working Group on Universal Periodic Review of the United Nations Human Rights Council, drawing its attention to the Government of Nepal’s persistent failure to deliver truth, justice, repar Read More...
KATHMANDU: The East-West Highway has been obstructed since a diversion was washed away by a flash flood at Gaindakot section in Nawalparasi (East) district. It has been learnt that the vehicular movement along the highway came to halt after the flooded rivulet in Thumsi swept away the culvert o Read More...