Making disaster risk reduction a policy priority, institutional
strengthening (HFA 1)
Disaster Risk Management has remained a national priority from the initiation of 10th Five Year Plan (2002-2007) period, as the plan has incorporated the DRM Issues in Plan and Policies first time in Nepal, that underscored DRM as a main objective to ensure sustainable development, sustain development gains, public safety, effective management of natural resources and human induced disasters. The subsequent 3-year development plans (2008-2010, 2011-2013) have emphasized that DRM is a national priority and an integral component of sustainable development. In addition to these development plans, the Government of Nepal adopted the National Strategy for Disaster Risk Management (NSDRM) in October 2009, which outlines the priority objectives for DRM in Nepal based on HFA Priorities.
To successfully implement the NSDRM, the Government of Nepal and development partners jointly initiated the Nepal Risk Reduction Consortium (NRRC), which officially launched in 2011. The NRRC developed a comprehensive Flagship program, which identified 5 priority areas in DRM for immediate intervention.
As the focal ministry for DRM in Nepal, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MOHA) has recently completed the National Level Multi Hazard Risk Assessment covering five major hazards. This has enabled Nepal to identify and understand the major hazards facing the country and probable risks. MOHA has also approved National Disaster Response Framework (2013) putting the clear role and mandate of all government and non-government stakeholders to respond disaster.
At the district level, all 75 districts have developed District Disaster Preparedness and Response Plans (DPRP) and regurlarly updating these plans. In order to implement these plans, the District Natural Disaster Relief Committees (DNDRCs) have been further strengthened to carry out DRM activities in the district and enhanced emergency response capacity.
Similarly, to make DRM a part of development process at local level, the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development developed the Local Disaster Risk Management Planning Guidelines (LDRMP). On the basis of the LDRMP, about 700 VDCs of variousl districts have prepared Local Disaster Risk Management Plans including prioritization of three main hazards with a mandatory earthquake risk assessment.
Disaster Risk Reduction is streamlined in National Development Plan and separate chapter with vision, mission, goals and strategies is included in it. At local level, the 3-year development plan focuses on enhancing the engagement of local bodies and communities in disaster prevention, mitigation, preparedness and response activities. Moreover, a Community Based Disaster Risk Reduction initiative is also implementing with the support of development partners.
Building codes are implementing in most of the municipalities. Similarly, municipalities are implementing Safe Building Construction Practices using the seismic code provisions in the local context. To promote safer construction and infrastructure development, concerted efforts by government and non-government sectors are gearing up to support the implementation of seismic safety standard effectively throughout the country. Substantial number of engineers and sub engineers and masons have been trained on earthquake safe construction practices over the years.
Government of Nepal has approved the 83 Open Space in Kathmandu Valley to have managed campsites in time of Mega Disaster and basic infrastructure construction is in process in some open spaces.
Ministry of Home Affairs has already established National Emergency Operation Center with 24 hour operation. MOHA has established 5 Regional Emergency Operation Centers, 49 District Emergency Operation Centers and 1 Municipal Emergency Center. Most of these EOCs are operating 24 hours. Early Warning System is linked in EOCs. Department of Hydrology and Meteorology has established about five dozen Flood Early Warning Systems including two in glaciers and various hydro-meteorological and weather stations are established.
MOHA is planning to further expansion of EOCS in all 75 districts and major municipalities. Almost all municipalities have procured and operated fire brigades. Light SAR teams in the security forces have been instituted and SAR equipment and logistics capacity is upgrading.