Nepal | January 17, 2021

EDITORIAL: Plan for disasters

The Himalayan Times
Share Now:

In the absence of scientific database, the government has been unable to formulate disaster mitigation plans at all levels

Nepal is among the highly natural disaster-prone countries in the world because of its steep terrain and fragile mountains, resulting in heavy landslides and flash floods during the rainy season. Besides earthquakes, landslides, floods, lightning, wildfires and storms are other common natural disasters that render many people homeless every year, causing huge loss of lives and property as well as damage to the physical infrastructure. Billions of rupees are required to mitigate the risk of the natural disasters and to build them back better. It has taken more than five years to rebuild the private houses and public infrastructure destroyed by the 2015 earthquake that also left more than 9,000 people dead, rendering more than half a million families homeless. The rebuilding process is still going on, though. Such a large number of people would not have been killed had the government strictly implemented the building code in the urban and rural areas. Therefore, a natural disaster risk reduction plan is more important than carrying out the rebuilding plan, which requires resources to rebuild the damaged infrastructure.

Following the 2015 devastating earthquake, the federal parliament passed a law in 2018, enabling it to form the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Authority under the Home Ministry to work on natural disasters across the country. As per its rules-2019, the local disaster management committee, district disaster management committee and provincial disaster management committees have already been formed. The local levels will submit their reports to the district disaster body, which will prepare its integrated report on the natural disaster and submit it to the provincial body. The provincial bodies are required to prepare their reports and submit them to the national-level authority. The provincial bodies are required to submit their aggregate reports on natural disasters within 40 days of completion of the fiscal year.

After the provincial bodies submit their aggregate reports to the authority, the authority will prepare an integrated national-level report, which will be a useful document in formulating natural disaster mitigation plans at the local, district, provincial and federal levels. The data of the final report will also be shared with the international organisations helping Nepal in natural disaster mitigation plans. In order to make all the bodies more effective and efficient, the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration recently urged all local levels to prepare their annual disaster reports including the mitigation works that they carried out and submit them to the higher level at the earliest. Once the national level report is prepared, it will give a clear picture about the vulnerable areas of the country from the natural disaster point of view, and the three tiers of government will be able to carry out their mitigation works. In the absence of scientific database, the government has been unable to evacuate and relocate the people from the landslide and flood-prone areas to safer locations on time.

However, the most important thing is to well-equip the authority with resources to deal with natural disasters.


Power corrupts

In what is a mockery of the prime minister’s pledge not to tolerate corruption, a report by Transparency International shows that corruption has increased by 58 per cent in the past one year. The report ‘Global Corruption Barometer — Asia 2020 — is based on a public opinion survey of thousands of people and reflects the general perception about the incumbent government. Going through the report, it looks as if corruption is widespread, with everyone from the people and organisations related to the Office of the President or the Prime Minister, parliamentarians and local level officials engaging in it. Quite a few big wigs in the government, including the Minister for Communications and Information Technology, have had to quit for seeking kickbacks from big contract deals.

The report reveals that the local governments are particularly corrupt in the eyes of the public. At a time when there is growing disenchantment with the costly federal system, the corruption being seen at each of the tiers of the government does not augur well for institut6ionalising federalism in the country.

Elections should not be seen by the people as a legitimate means for party members to engage in willful corruption.


A version of this article appears in print on November 26, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.


Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Photo Gallery: NC student cadres demonstrate against House dissolution

Kathmandu, January 15 Seen in the pictures below are youth activists affiliated to the main opposition Nepali Congress taking part in a tug of war during a protest against the dissolution of House, in Kathmandu, on Friday. On December 20, PM Oli recommended the dissolution of House of Represen Read More...

Constitutional bench to adjudicate House dissolution case

KATHMANDU, JANUARY 15 The constitutional bench of the Supreme Court led by Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher JB Rana today ruled that cases field against the dissolution of the House of Representatives would be heard by the same bench continuously from Sunday. The SC passed the order after hear Read More...

At least 42 dead as Indonesia quake topples homes, buildings

MAMUJU, INDONESIA: A strong, shallow earthquake shook Indonesia's Sulawesi island just after midnight Friday, toppling homes and buildings, triggering landslides and killing at least 42 people. More than 600 people were injured by the magnitude 6.2 quake, which sent people fleeing their homes in Read More...

Biden: We'll 'manage the hell' out of feds' COVID response

WILMINGTON, DELAWARE: President-elect Joe Biden pledged Friday to boost supplies of coronavirus vaccine and set up new vaccination sites to meet his goal of 100 million shots in 100 days. It's part of a broader COVID strategy that also seeks to straighten out snags in testing and ensure minority com Read More...

Dahal-Nepal faction to seek clarification from prime minister

KATHMANDU, JANUARY 15 Nepal Communist Party (NCP) led by Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Madhav Kumar Nepal today decided to seek clarification from Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli for acting against the party’s objectives, goals, programmes, and statute. NCP Standing Committee member Bhim Bahadur Rawal Read More...

Rooney stops playing to take Derby manager job permanently

All-time record scorer for England and Manchester United. A haul of 16 trophies. Wayne Rooney's illustrious playing career is over. Former England and United captain has decided it's time to focus on trying to replicate his successes as a striker in management. After taking temporary charg Read More...

Gyawali stresses need to find agreeable boundary alignment

KATHMANDU, JANUARY 15 Minister of Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali today said in New Delhi that finding an agreeable boundary alignment in the remaining segments might not only take Nepal and India to the stage of fully settled international boundary, but might also help generate positive vi Read More...

Nepali Congress to hold protests in all local levels today

KATHMANDU, JANUARY 15 Nepali Congress is set to hold protests against the dissolution of the House of Representatives in all the 753 local levels on Saturday. Issuing a press release, NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba appealed to all the citizens to express solidarity with the protest to be held Read More...