Safety first

The government is now finalising the much-awaited National Strategy on Disaster Risk Management (NSDRM) to ensure preparedness and public safety whenever natural disasters strike the country. Through this strategy, the government hopes to form a local and national network of government and semi-government bodies along with the INGOs and NGOs to achieve risk management targets by 2015. The NSDRM is based on the Hyogo Framework of Action 2005-15, which has been derived from a consensus document adopted by 168 countries at the UN Conference on Disaster Reduction, 2005.

It is high time the state adopted safety mechanisms to lessen the magnitude and cost of the crisis at least in already identified disaster-prone areas. Most noticeably, the NSDRM is said to now focus on building a ‘culture of resilience,’ hitherto unknown in Nepal, in order to reduce panic situations and provide speedy rehabilitation to the victims. Besides, an early warning system to work through the proposed network may greatly help minimise loss of lives and properties year after year. Flood and landslides, which render thousands of people homeless and indefinitely obstruct movement of people and goods, hit the country almost every year. Besides, Nepal is seated as one of the most earthquake-prone countries in the world. A 2004 UNDP study has placed Nepal in the 11th position in a list of nations that face quakes more frequently. And in terms of flood, the report ranked Nepal the 30th.