Disaster Management

A disaster is a tragedy that negatively affects society and the environment. The United Nations defines a disaster as a "serious disruption of the functioning of a community or society involving widespread human, material, economic or environmental losses and impacts, which exceeds the ability of the affected community or society to cope with its own resources."

Types of Disaster

Natural Disasters- This includes floods, hurricanes, earthquakes and volcano eruptions that have immediate as well as secondary impacts.
Environmental emergenciesThis includes technological or industrial accidents involving the production, use or transport of the hazardous material.
Complex emergencies- It involves the breakdown of the authority, looting and attacks and conflicts, and war.
Pandemic emergencies- This involves the sudden onset of contagious disease that affects health, disrupts services and businesses, and brings economic and social problems like the recent outbreak of Covid-19 disease in 2020.

Disaster management cycle

Disaster Managment
Disaster Management

Mitigation/ Prevention- It means the efforts made to minimize the hazards from developing.
Preparedness- Disaster managers design plans of actions to cope with the disaster when it arrives.
Response- It includes the mobilization of the necessary emergency services and also the people who respond immediately in the disaster area.
Recovery- Restoring the affected area to its previous state. This should blend with development activities, such as building human resources for health and developing policies and practices to avoid similar situations in the future.

Disaster in Nepal Context

Nepal due to its rugged terrain, geological infancy, topography and situation in vulnerable seismic zones is prone and exposed to varieties of disasters 
Earthquake: Nepal ranks 11th in the earthquake risk countries in the world. A recent major earthquake and it’s after-shocks in 2015 left many dead and infrastructure damaged.
Flood, Landslide, and Debris flow: Due to steep, rugged, high-angle slope with complex geology, these types of natural disasters occur.
Forest Fire: Takes place mainly in the month of April to June due to high temperature and agriculture activities.
Epidemic: Cholera, Encephalitis, Meningitis, Typhoid, Jaundice, Malaria occurs during the change of seasons.
Others include Avalanche and GLOF, Windstorm, Thunderbolt, and Hailstorm, Drought 

Policy and Government initiatives

  • Natural Disaster Relief Act, 1982
  • Disaster Risk Management Act, 2074
  • Local government Operation Act
  • Prime Minister’s Disaster Relief Fund
  • Home ministry as a focal institution- National Emergency Operation Center (NEOC)
  • National Strategy for Disaster Risk Management in Nepal, 2009
  • Nepal Disaster Risk Reduction National Strategic Plan of Action (2018-2030) 

How to manage Disaster?

  • Accountability and clearly defined roles and responsibilities are essential.
  • Assessing and developing capabilities of stakeholders
  • Effective co-ordination and collaboration among relevant stakeholders
  • Periodic evaluation of and reporting of these coordinated efforts