An overview of early warning system (EWS) in Nepal - how inclusive and resilient to communities at risk

Author

Suman Karn

Source(s)
New Spotlight News Magazine

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Progress in early warning system in Nepal is indeed encouraging, however there are many loose threads that needs to be pulled together for making the system more effective, sustainable and resilient. It is difficult to say that our EWS follows all key features that are fundamental to meet its objective. Our systems are rarely based on multi-hazard approach (dominated by community-based flood EWS) and on many occasions, they are not fully people-centered and do not provide end-to-end solution. With the emergence of new hazards like animal terror, urban fire, bush fire, urban flooding, drought and frequent landslides, having multi-hazard embedded EWS is indispensable and urgent. The new constitution (2015) of Nepal has significantly empowered the local governments and they are now fully responsible to address all cycles of DRRM with focus on implementation of risk reduction initiatives. Unfortunately, the early warning systems are not fully integrated into the legislations and operational structure of local governance including disaster section/department and DRRM committees at the municipal, ward and community level. Besides, there is in sufficient training, capacities and know-how developed in this direction.

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Many initiatives which have potential to contribute towards making EWS more effective and efficient are scarcely coordinated and harmonized. In the recent time, the investment (supported by both state and non-state actors) in disaster risk reduction and management has comparatively increased particularly at the local level although not significantly.

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