13 October is designated as International Day for Disaster Reduction to promote a global culture of disaster reduction, including disaster prevention, mitigation and preparedness. Every year the Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Day recognises progress and encourages further efforts to build disaster resilient communities and nations.
The Ministry of Home Affairs Nepal in coordination with Disaster Preparedness Network Nepal (DPNet-Nepal), Association of International NGOs Task Group on Disaster Management (AINTGDM), UN and other humanitarian agencies celebrated International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction (IDDR) with the slogan "Increase Investment in Disaster Reduction, Reduce the Economic Loss”.
In Nepal, the day was celebrated with a week-long programme followed by mass rally and a national symposium on DRR.
Coinciding with the IDDR, Support Activities for Poor Producers of Nepal (SAPPROS), a CBM partner organized a speech competition in Nawalpur Secondary school of Sindhupalchowk district on "A meaningful participation of children with disabilities in disaster management". Altogether, nine students participated in the competition and shared their views on the role and participation of persons with disabilities during emergency and post-disaster situation.
A short orientation program was also organised with teachers and students on DiDRR.
After the interaction meeting, the school has also showed their commitment to embed Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction in the formal school curriculum. Similarly, rally and simulation drills was also organised by INF, CBM partner in Jumla, Tanahu, Lalitpur and Kathmandu districts.
Nepal and Disaster
Nepal is one of the disaster prone country in the world due to topography and climatic conditions. Disaster of various types - earthquake, landslides, floods, fire, thunderbolts are frequent, affecting poor, marginalized groups including persons with disabilities. Persons with disabilities are more likely to be left behind or abandoned during evacuation in disasters due to lack of preparation and planning as well as inaccessible facilities. Their needs are often overlooked in emergency relief operation and they are seldom involved in disaster preparedness, recovery and or rehabilitation.
The earthquakes of 1934, 1980, 1988, 2015 and the floods of 1993, 2008, 1913, 2014 and 2017 are the most devastating disasters that occurred in Nepal which not only caused heavy losses to human lives and physical properties (or economic losses) but also adversely affected poor, marginalized and most-at risk groups including persons with disabilities.
The recent (2017) floods caused of USD 584.7 million losses and USD 705.1 million USD were required to meet the recovery needs.
CBM Nepal’s work in Disaster Risk Reduction
Following the Gorkha Earthquake (2015), CBM developed a Post-emergency Response Implementation Plan (PERIP) to address long-term needs of earthquake-affected communities. The project focuses on five major areas 1) health and rehabilitation 2) livelihood 3) mental health and psycho-social support 4) education and 5) accessibility and inclusion. The interventions are being carried in ten earthquake-affected districts.
One of the main objectives of the PERIP project is to enhance capacity of partner organizations, NGOs and governments on disability inclusive development and disability inclusive disaster risk reduction to increase access of locally available resources.
Working with DPOs and partner organisations, CBM provides training emphasizing on inclusive DRR plans and strategies to identify the barriers and prejudices and work towards reducing existing barriers at all setting, constructing accessible and resilient infrastructure and public spaces, disability-sensitive warning systems and evacuation routes and making information accessible for all. CBM partners are also working with local governments to sensitize them on the Sendai framework of action, and to encourage the participation of persons with disabilities in disaster risk planning in the country.