KATHMANDU, Jan 15: Coordination among the municipalities of Kathmandu Valley and other authorities concerned and the focus on management activities to reduce earthquake risk have improved in the one and half years since the latest fatal earthquake that Valley folks experienced.
Following the 6.8 Richtar scale earthquake of September, 2011, government and non-government agencies have collaborated on disaster risk reduction.
Earthquake Technology Training Specialist at the National Society for Earthquake Technology-Nepal (NSET) Bijay Upadhyaya said that 300 masons underwent training in earthquake resistant construction in Kathmandu Valley alone.
NSET had provided 10 different training programs to the masons, following increasing demand for trained manpower since September 2011.
Volunteers are also being prepared for disaster relief. Some 336 people received disaster risk reduction and rescue training to respond to situations like 2011 or worse.
Likewise, students of some 500 schools went through drill training on how to be safe during earthquakes. Among the schools, 300 are located in the Valley.
Kathmandu Metropolitan City´s Urban Planning Chief, Uttar Kumar Regmi, shares his experience that people have themselves come forward asking KMC officials to visit their construction sites to see if things are going right or not.
“People also come to seek suggestions from our engineers and overseers,” Regmi added.
Newly-constructed and under-construction school building, hospitals, hotels and apartment buildings are under the supervision of the Department of Urban Development and Building Construction (DUDBC), and officials have been active in monitoring construction activities for adherence to the building code.
DUDBC monitored construction sites in coordination with KMC officials and representatives of Lalitpur Sub-metropolitan City and two the municipalities of Bhaktapur, according to officials.
Likewise, earthquake drills and trainings for communities on emergency preparedness planning, which includes guidelines for people to act before, during and after earthquakes, have been taking place.
The Ministry of Education (MOE) also plans to provide training drills to around 200 schools and bring 10,000 teachers under its earthquake safety training by 2014.
The Armed Police Force, which has already set up a disaster management training center in Kurintar, also conducted special training for police personnel.
Similarly, MoE is retrofitting community schools and stepping up disaster preparedness at educational establishments. The Department of Education has also readied a policy for private and boarding schools
The ministry recently constructed 15 schools designed for earthquake resistance and 50 more such schools are in the pipeline for next year.
In a bid to monitor the status of hospital preparedness for disaster, the Ministry of Health plans to survey 50 hospitals across the country. An initial study by the World Health Organization stated that more than 80 percent of the hospitals and health post were poorly equipped to cope with disaster situations.
Meanwhile, non-government organizations are negotiating with government agencies to introduce better standars for new constructions and timely renovations of old physical infrastructure, said Khadga Sen Oli, advocacy officer at NSET.
“We are making plans under a multi-step strategy to respond to hazard,” said Oli. The first one is to check the risk, and second is to reduce risk, make people aware and develop community groups for immediate response.
|Source: Republica Daily|
Published on 2013-01-15 07:00:48
Focus on disaster preparedness increases