Early warning spared Kailali village a disaster

KAILALI: The recent ‘unseasonal’ torrent, which caused large-scale damages across the country, has spared Bisanpur in Kailali’s Pawera VDC, thanks to the early warning system. The swollen Mohana river on October 6 eroded only four bighas of land in the village.

Bhagi Ram Chaudhary, coordinator, early warning system committee under Kailali

Disaster Risk Reduction Initiatives (KDRRI), a Mercy Corps project, funded by the European Commission Humanitarian Aid, said the villagers’ preparation for the flood saved lives and property in the area.

“Two years ago, we were without a mechanism to cope with natural disaster of this sort. We now have the early warning system,” he said. Chaudhary credits the achievement to Department of Hydrology and Meteorology under Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology, which informed the villagers about the impending danger.

A wooden post erected on the riverbank to indicate the water level as well a communication device installed by Mercy Corps had informed the local residents about the danger, Chaudhary told The Himalayan Times.

The moment the water rose above the danger point, as indicated by the wooden device, officials blew a siren, cautioning the villagers to take up safety measures. Mercy Corps also trained the locals to handle the natural disaster. The training included preserving food for an emergency. Thirty households in the village learnt the skills.

Microphones and loudspeakers were used as part of the

preparedness. “Roads were

also built for emergency

evacuation of the villagers in the event of a flood,” said Hari

Ram Chaudharya, secretary of

the committee.

KDRRI project, which started in November 2007 and ended in April 2009, was implemented in partnership with Nepal Red Cross Society.