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Dialogue on Current Flood and Landslides: Lessons Learned and Ways Forward 22 July 2013 Kathmandu

Posted on : Friday, 26 July, 2013

On July 22, 2013 Disaster Preparedness Network-Nepal (DPNet-Nepal) organized a dialogue programme on Current Flood and Landslides: Lessons Learned and Ways Forward. The program was held at the Meeting Hall of Nepal Red Cross Society, Kalimati, Kathmandu from 14.00hrs to 17.00hrs. In total 46 participants representing governmental offices, Universities, International non government organizations (INGOs) national non government organizations (NGOs) United Nations (UN) Agencies, Red Cross Movement, Donor Agencies, Media attended the program. The university students, researchers and DRR professionals were also attended the program.

This year monsoon came early and the heavy rainfall triggered the massive floods and landslides in the 13 districts of the Western and Far Western regions of Nepal. Similarly, some districts of central regions (Rautahat, Bara and Sarlahi) and Eastern regions (Jhapa, Morang, Sunsari and Saptari) were also heavily affected by flood disaster having huge devastation in May, June and July 2013. The flood and landslides that resulted have left dozens of people dead and injured and destroyed property worth millions of rupees. Based on the report revealed by Nepal Red Cross Society, 59 people lost their lives, 17 missing and 29 are injured and more than 7350 families are affected from 25 May to 18 July 2013.

However the government and other concerned stakeholders have been making significant efforts continuously in response and preparedness to reduce the negative impacts of flood and landslides. The efforts and preparedness activities are not sufficient to reduce the loss of lives and property. There should be effective and efficient preparedness planning, response and relief operations during disasters.

The dialogue aimed to bring all DRR stakeholders in a single forum and make aware for improved response mechanism and better preparedness to reduce the adverse impact of possible flood and landslides. The program also aimed to i) review on response mechanism for current flood and landslides occurred across the country and map the response capacity of the humanitarian organizations to cope with possible flood and landslides, ii) know the effectiveness of Early Warning System in recent Flood and landslide and iii) collect feedbacks, comments and make ways forward on how to improve response and preparedness activities in the days ahead.

The program was conducted in an informal way upon the chairmanship of Dr. Meen B. Poudyal Chhetri, Chairperson, DPNet-Nepal. Mr. Ram Chandra Neupane, General Secretary of DPNet-Nepal delivered welcoming remarks and highlighted the objective of the program. He said that the main objective of the program was to share lessons learned from the current flood and landslides and make ways forward on how we can improve our response and preparedness activities to reduce the negative impact of potential disasters.   

A quick self-introduction of the participants was followed by the technical session. The technical session included three presentations on Effectiveness of Early Warning System in Current Flood and Landslides, Response and Lessons learned from recent flood and landslides and Humanitarian Concerns and Response: Nepal Flood and Landslides 2013. The presenters included Mr.  Rajendra Sharma, Chief of Flood Forecasting Section, DHM, Mr. Dharma Raj Pandey, Deputy Director of Disaster Management Department, Nepal Red Cross Society and Mr. Kedar Babu Dhungana, Humanitarian Manager, Save the Children. The presentation session was followed by discussion session. Participants from various organizations commented on different issues and put their views and suggestions. The program was facilitated by Mr. Bhesh Parajuli from DPNet-Nepal.

The dialogue program was overall successful that provided situation updates and shared lessons learned from the recent flood and landslides amongst DRR and other concerned stakeholders. The program was significant to identify some gaps and make ways forward to reduce the adverse impact of flood and landslides in the future. The government moved more proactively in response than in the previous years, though the gaps were realized in coordination between cluster co- leads and leads. The river encroachment is one of the major problems that increased the loss of lives, livelihoods and property. Government should have specific policy and regulation to control the river encroachment. The chronic problem should not be mixed up in humanitarian emergency response. Government and all DRR stakeholders have to mainstream disaster into regular development plans and programs. DRR programs should focus more on prevention and mitigation rather than in response and preparedness. Government line ministries and departments needs to be strengthened for effective and efficient response and preparedness.

 

 

 

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