To the rescue

The devastating earthquakes, aftershocks, followed by rain and landslides, have created a state of uncertainty. The beginning of the monsoon season further poses a threat to the vulnerable entities.

The Natural Calamity Act 1982 and Local Self Governance Act 1999 are the legal infrastructure for disaster management. Later on National Strategy for Disaster Risk Management was introduced in 2009, which had vision to build a disaster resilient Nepal.

The Cabinet has powers to declare an emergency in case of mega disasters that are beyond the capacity of Nepal government as per the recommendation of Central Natural Disaster Relief Committee formed under Natural Calamity Act 1982.

The Prime Minister Natural Disaster Relief Fund will be mobilized for disaster response as per the Prime Minister Natural Disaster Relief Fund Regulations 2064.

The formation of Central Natural Disaster Relief Committee (CNDRC), Regional Disaster Relief Committee (RDRC), District Disaster Relief Committee (DDRC) and Local Disaster Relief Committee (LDRC) is mandated by the Natural Calamity Relief Act 1982 for the overall disaster response in Nepal.

In addition, there are Supply, Shelter and Rehabilitation sub-committee and Relief and Treatment sub-committee at the central level.

In order to collect, analyze, disseminate and coordinate disaster related information, Emergency Operation Centers (EOCs) are functional at the central, regional, district and municipality levels.

As provisioned by the Local Self Governance Act 2055, local bodies (DDC, Municipalities and VDCs) are responsible for disaster preparedness and response. In case of a mega disaster requiring international assistance, the Government of Nepal may request the UN Humanitarian Coordinator, other governments, Red Cross movement, regional organizations, donor communities, I/NGOs, political parties, different professionals, resident and non-resident Nepali citizens, foreign citizens, and other sources for international assistance in terms of cash or services to respond to disaster through concerted national efforts and intensified regional co-operation.

Now we are at the stage of recovery, and we are still vulnerable. One misstep may lead to new disasters; hence we should play a constructive and supportive role along with the government and its mechanism in order to untie the hitches.