Disaster management in disarray in local unitsAlthough a majority of the local units across the country have formed Disaster Management Committees and raised funds for them, local units in Gandaki Province have neither made working guidelines for disaster preparedness nor have they been able to identify the risky areas.
Although a majority of the local units across the country have formed Disaster Management Committees and raised funds for them, local units in Gandaki Province have neither made working guidelines for disaster preparedness nor have they been able to identify the risky areas.
Five local units of Kaski district have already formed such committees. However, they have not made efforts for disaster preparedness and also lack a working strategy. “Budget has been allocated for disaster management and committees are also formed in the majority of the local units,” said Dolraj Pandey, chairman of Kaski Red Cross. “However, there’s no planning, preparedness and rescue materials for disaster management.”
According to him, the committees are unsure over ways to mobilise the funds they have received. “The budget is being used to compensate victims’ families after the disaster. But nothing has been done yet to prevent disasters,” he said.
Yubaraj Adhikari, chief administrative officer at Madi Rural Municipality in Kaski, said that they have formed a committee and established fund for disaster management. “We are still at early phase of disaster management. We will work more effectively in the future,” he said.
The situation at local units in Syangja is no different. Sudhir Paudel, chairperson of Aandhikhola Rural Municipality, admitted that they have not made any preparations for disaster management until now. “We will make plans in accordance to the decisions made at the council meeting,” said Paudel, lamenting that they lacked human resources to deploy for disaster management purposes.
In Myagdi, more than 26 settlements and a dozen schools are at high risk of floods and landslides. But the authorities concerned have not made a plan to abate the possible disasters. “We have established the fund, but don’t have the necessary infrastructure and equipment to mobilise the fund,” said Kharamaya Bitalu, vice-chairperson of Malika Rural Municipality. “We don’t have relief and rescue materials and skilled manpower for disaster management purposes,” she said.
Nepal has a fragile geology. With regards to vulnerability to climate change related hazard, earthquakes and floods, Nepal ranks, 4th, 11th and 30th place among 198 countries of the world.