Disaster lessons

Only the affected ones know the extent of sorrow and suffering. Sufferings and sorrows are induced by different ways and reasons. Some may be intentional and others may be accidental. They may be the cause of natural calamities such as earthquake and landslide. These natural disasters leave a mark in the history of the nation and the world has watched them closely. The proper management of post-disaster situation has transformed the outlook of the affected nations. Countries like Chile which suffered a major setback of earthquake of a devastating 9.5 magnitude has shown that more development is possible by wise reconstruction of the nation. Japan is another good example.

Nepal too has to learn lessons from the disasters and focus on the reconstruction keeping in mind the future risks. A close study of recent earthquake data has shown the death toll close to 9000 including 16 members of a single family. Some miraculously survived even after falling off from the nine-storied Dharahara which now only remains as dust and debris. The whole nation went into grief. As humans are emotional by nature they show the emotions according to the need of the situation. Even in this situation of great peril Nepalis have accepted the wrath of the earthquake and have confronted them. Geologists have always indicated Nepal as an earthquake prone zone. Also the evidences showed that we were not prepared for the management of the disaster. Some rural areas felt more impacts due to the fragile land structure. Actual records of human beings, infrastructure and physical damage haven’t been yet reported to the government. Till now, no proper monitoring and evaluation of the damaged houses in these areas have been done.

Concepts of skyscrapers and big apartments were just mushrooming in the Nepali lifestyle which have now halted. Luckily, big apartments didn’t fall but they have not become fit to live in again. The major weakness here seems to be the building code. The government building code of the town planning act seems to be violated by the builders. Government officials’ carelessness in monitoring and evaluation of the building process provided the proof for this obvious damage. Nepal should go through new construction instead of re-construction. Recently the government conducted an international donor convention for reconstruction. This conference seemed promising and satisfying as large amounts of grants and aid were committed.