Efforts to Strengthen Disaster Preparedness

Sep 7th, 2014 | By | Category: International Agencies, Nepal

The Himalayan Times: Sophie Kemkhadze, Deputy Country Director of UNDP, emphasised on better understanding of climate change and how it has triggered the number and nature of natural disasters, while speaking at a half-day workshop on KOICA ‘Fast Tracking Millennium Development Goals and Safeguarding Development Gains’.

“Better preparedness for and better response in post-disaster situations by strengthening resilience lies at the heart to mitigate the risk, and improve the lives of vulnerable people and communities,” she suggested. KOICA has recently joined UNDP for the design and implementation of this project from 2014-2016. 

Under Secretary at the Ministry of Home Affairs Jhanka Nath Dhakal, who heads the National Emergency Operation Centre, said that the government had put community surveillance and risk governance on priority to respond to the natural disasters and ensure the safety of vulnerable people. “Impact of Climate Change is responsible for more than 80 per cent of Nepal’s natural disasters,” he informed. 

Deepak KC, Senior Project Officer of UNDP said that Nepal is ranked 4th and 11th in terms of climate change and earthquake risk respectively. “A statistics released by MoHA suggests that one an average, two people is killed in natural disasters daily. Climate Change-induced disasters like flood, landslide and lightning account for major share of the deaths,” he apprised. 

Gautam Rajkarnikar, Deputy Director General at the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology, warned of the urgent need to improve livelihood in areas vulnerable to natural disasters to reduce future impact. Dr Bimala Devkota, Senior Scientific Officer at Nepal Academy of Science and Technology shed light on Climate Risk Management Toolkit jointly prepared by NAST and UNDP. It has covered four thematic areas — agriculture and food security, forest and biodiversity, water and energy, and Climate Change and disaster — for sensitization and to provide training on Climate Risk Management approach in community level. 

According to UNDP, although Nepal has made significant strides towards achieving its Millennium Development Goals (MDG) targets, the country still faces daunting challenges in key area such as poverty and hunger reduction and environmental sustainability.

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