Nepal is one of the most disaster prone countries in the world due to its complex geophysical condition and poor socio-economic situation. The country faces various types of natural disasters such as: floods, landslides, fires, earthquakes, wind storms, hailstorms, lightning, glacial lake overflows, droughts, epidemics, avalanches, etc. Furthermore, it is also exposed to various types of natural disasters due to rugged and rugged topography, extreme weather events, and fragile geological conditions. Nepal’s vulnerability to disasters is compounded by rapid population growth and the development of casual and unplanned settlements.
Rural houses are mainly built with thatched and wooden roofs and are therefore very weak and most of them remain highly vulnerable to disasters such as fire, earthquake, landslides and floods. Disaster occurs almost every year in one part or another of the country.
Every year thousands of families are made homeless due to natural disasters and most of them are poor families as they generally live in disaster prone areas due to socio-economic conditions and repressive caste system. It is obvious that they are more victimized as they are in planned settlements in the hazard / risk affected area with minimal preventive measures (use of substandard building materials), incidental use of land for agriculture and other activities.
Large swaths of rural areas are often inhabited by low-income communities that depend on agriculture, livestock, daily wages, forest products, small businesses, and services for their livelihoods. Once disaster strikes, these extremely vulnerable people are merely dependent (for a long time) on outside help in the absence of community safety nets and weak government infrastructure and support systems.
The types of natural and human-induced hazards in Nepal, extracted from the active dataset (table 1) maintained by the MoHA, which covers a period of 45 years (1971 to 2015), tells us that a total of 22,373 disaster events during this period. . This equates to an average annual exposure to 500 disaster events.
Nepal has been classified by the World Bank in 2015 as one of the world’s ‘hot spots’ countries with high risk of multiple hazards and disasters. Consequently, “Nepal is ranked 11th highest risk country in the world in terms of vulnerability to earthquakes, 30th in terms of flooding, and 4th in risk of disasters caused by climate change, making it the 11th highest risk country in the world. makes it the twentieth most disaster-prone country out of 198 countries in the world “(UNDP / BCPR, 2004). According to the “National Strategy for Disaster Risk Management in Nepal 2009” of the Ministry of the Interior (MoHA), Nepal suffers a loss of life of about 1000 people every year due to natural hazards and a direct loss of an average of almost 1208 million. Nepalese rupees per year. Millions of national and international expenditures are spent each year on disaster response activities, absorbing a large amount of resources that would normally be allocated to well-founded national development efforts.
Nepal is one of the most disaster prone countries in the world due to its complex geophysical condition and poor socio-economic situation. The country faces various types of natural disasters such as: floods, landslides, fires, earthquakes, wind storms, hailstorms, lightning, glacial lake overflows, droughts, epidemics, avalanches, etc. Furthermore, it is also exposed to various types of natural disasters due to rugged and rugged topography, extreme weather events, and fragile geological conditions.
The key research question is the analysis of the community’s resilience to frequent natural and man-made disasters. This will include understanding:
a) the forms of coping in situ of the community within their families as a unit and
b) the preparedness measures they have and how they act when a disaster strikes
The investigation will further investigate and analyze the patterns of disasters in the study area, the impact of past disasters on the community and the landscape.
These actions will help frame the project narrative that describes disaster patterns, impacts, community response mechanisms, including preparedness and mitigation measures.
Until the 1970s, disasters were understood as synonymous with natural hazards / events such as earthquakes, windstorms, floods, and landslides. The magnitude of a disaster was considered to be a function of the magnitude of the hazard. For example, earthquakes and windstorms cannot be avoided; The emphasis of national governments and the international community, therefore, was primarily on a reactive approach to responding to events (disasters) and at best preparing for them, with the assumption that disasters are unavoidable to be dealt with only with response. behaviour.
But, starting in the 1970s, and with the beginning of millions of decades from the 2000s, especially following the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA), it has been established that disasters are intimately connected with the processes human development. Natural hazards such as windstorms, floods and earthquakes, however intense, unavoidable or unpredictable, translate into disasters only to the extent that society is not prepared to respond and cannot cope (reflecting the state of vulnerability) and, consequently, is seriously affected. In other words, there is nothing natural about the disaster; it is the result of human inaction or lack of appropriate action in development (World Bank).
Therefore, there is now a new paradigm shift in which natural hazards themselves do not necessarily lead to disasters. Natural hazards are causing disasters, but for a hazard to become a disaster, it has to affect vulnerable people. If people can become less vulnerable or non-vulnerable, a hazard may occur, but it does not have to lead to a disaster. It is now recognized that disaster risks (physical, social and economic) unmanaged (or poorly managed) for a long time lead to the occurrence of disasters. The likelihood of a disaster occurring or not will depend on whether or not those risks are properly managed. Disasters are the result of poorly planned and unplanned development. Even the appearance of recent climate anomalies attributed to global climate change can be traced back to human activities such as the emission of unmanaged and extremely high greenhouse gases (CO2, methane …). Looking at the disaster from this perspective, emergency management (response) itself is no longer a priority.
As such disasters result from the combination of hazards, conditions of vulnerabilities that generally accumulate over time, and insufficient capacity or measures to reduce potential damages. This is reflected in a simple empirical formula:
Disaster risk: danger x vulnerability
Since little can be done to reduce the incidence and intensity of most natural hazards, actions and activities must focus on reducing existing and future vulnerabilities to damage and loss. This clearly establishes that vulnerability reduction is the key to disaster risk reduction, which must be acted upon as an integral component during the development phase of the program. It should not be left to humanitarian actors after a disaster.
It is a concept applied in an integrated approach to a disaster event in which the management cycle can be carried out through a sequence of activities / phases, each of which is responsible or designed to address a specific type of disaster. intervention. Disaster risk management as an action to cope with disasters could refer to any intentional undertaking before, during and after a disaster occurs as a cycle with different phases, from preparedness to response, from prevention, to mitigation and preparedness through relief, recovery and rehabilitation. Disaster risk management is critical because of its ability to promote a holistic approach to disaster risk management and demonstrate the relationship between disasters and development.
The relationship between disaster and development as a cycle reinforces the fact that disasters, however inevitable, could be managed through proper planning and preparedness for response. The disaster risk management cycle on prevention, mitigation and preparedness included the development part, while relief and recovery included the humanitarian assistance part with preparedness linking both types of efforts. Therefore, the disaster risk management cycle consists of four phases: Prevention / Mitigation and Preparedness in the pre-disaster stage, and Response and Rehabilitation / Reconstruction in the post-disaster stage. The two stages of disaster risk management: the pre-disaster and post-disaster phases are illustrated in the DRM cycle.
Pre-disaster phase: covers risk identification, prevention, mitigation, adaptation and preparedness measures that are taken to reduce disaster risks associated with potential hazards to prevent or minimize the adverse impact on human and property losses caused by a disaster. The intention of preparedness is to prevent or minimize loss and damage in the event of a disaster. Preparedness denotes the post-disaster phase of the disaster risk management cycle.
Post-disaster phase: covers response, recovery and reconstruction actions taken in response to a disaster with the purpose of achieving early recovery and rehabilitation of affected people and communities. The Answer includes search and rescue; meeting the basic humanitarian needs of affected communities and other humanitarian actions. Recovery begins after the immediate threat to human life has diminished. The immediate objective of recovery is to return the affected area to a certain degree of normalcy and to a situation that should be better than before the disaster, following the principle of “Build back better” humanitarian assistance.