Home Ministry preparing permanent body for disaster management

Kathmandu, March 12

After a long discussion, the National Disaster Management Division of the Home Ministry is preparing a bill on developing a permanent structure to deal with disaster management in a holistic manner.

Being a mountainous country, Nepal is prone to disasters of different kinds and significant number of people die due to disasters every year and the need for a permanent structure for managing disasters was raised strongly following the April 25 earthquake.

The government faced heavy criticism for its slow-paced rescue operation, relief distribution, rehabilitation and reconstruction work following the earthquake.

Chief of the Disaster Management Division at the Home Ministry Joint-secretary Rameshwor Dangal said the ministry has been preparing to present the revised bill to establish National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC) to the cabinet soon.

He said last year the draft bill was presented to the Parliament, but due to the April 25 earthquake, that could not move forward and later the new constitution devised federal structures and therefore the bill needed revision to fit the structures as per the new geographical extension.

Dangal said the ministry has been working to present the bill to the cabinet for approval and then present the bill in the upcoming budget session of Parliament.

Currently, a division under the Home Minister is coordinating all works related to disaster management.

Executive Director of Nepal Red Cross Society Umesh Dhakal said there had been several rounds of discussions for developing a dedicated authoritative body to deal wit all activities related to disaster management.

Dhakal said the permanent body was necessary because disaster management included lots of work, including preparations prior to the disaster, information dissemination, quick rescue, relief distribution, rehabilitation and reconstruction. All these all activities should be conducted in a coordinated manner for effective disaster management.

Earlier, the stakeholders were discussing developing a permanent mechanism with full authority and resources to accomplish all the activities of disaster management in a holistic manner.