National Disaster Preparedness and Pre-Monsoon Planning Workshop takes place in Nepal
By Ashma Shrestha Basnet
Kathmandu, 21 April 2010 –Nepal is prone to various types of natural disasters mainly due to its rugged and steep topography and fragile geological condition. Floods, landslides, fire andepidemics occur on a regular basis, often causing loss of human life and enormous physical damage. Landslides and floods are among the principle recurring hazards.
As the monsoon season is just round the corner, a two-day national workshop on disaster preparedness and pre-monsoon planning was organized by the Ministry of Home Affairs and Disaster Preparedness Network on 8 and 9 April in Kathmandu. The workshop, inaugurated by Honourable Home Minister Mr. Bhim Rawal, served as a reminder to all those working in disaster management and preparedness to be even better prepared to respond to the possible damages it could be bringing.
During the workshop, lessons learned from previous year’s disaster response activities and preparedness were shared among the participants. Discussion on making effective district level plans including district contingency plan for the better response and preparedness activities for this year’s monsoon were also done.
“This workshop gives us an important opportunity to build on the past achievements and to improve our response in order to reduce human suffering in disasters, promote preparedness and facilitate sustainable solutions,” said Wendy Cue, Head of UN-OCHA reading a statement from Robert Piper, Humanitarian and Resident Coordinator of UN. “We are all resolved to improve coordination for disaster response based on the belief that a collaborative and predictive approach to emergencies will maximize benefits and minimize losses.”
The workshop, which was supported by UNICEF, UNDP, UN-OCHA, and various national and international organizations, brought together both government and non-government entities working on emergencies and disaster preparedness in Nepal. It also served as an advocacy tool to develop district level preparedness initiatives to most vulnerable districts as well as develop district contingency plans in selected districts.