Establishing Community Based Early Warning System
© Mercy Corps and Practical Action 2010 Published: November 2010 Mercy Corps Nepal P .O.Box 24374 Sanepa Chowk, Lalitpur, Nepal Tel: +977 1 555 5532 Fax: + 977 1 555 4370 Website: www.mercycorps.org Practical Action Nepal Office Pandole Marg, Lazimpat PO Box 15135 Kathmandu, Nepal Tel: + 977 1 4446015/4434482 Fax: + 977 1 4445995 Website:www.practicalaction.org Content and Materials Developed by: Anup Phaiju - Practical Action Debnarayan Bej - Practical Action Sagar Pokharel - Mercy Corps Nepal Ulla Dons - Mercy Corps Nepal Special Contributors: Dr. Dilip Gautam - Department of Hydrology and Meteorology Hritika Rana - Practical Action Sagar Gautam - Mercy Corps Nepal Consultant for Compilation: Kapil Neupane Editorial Board: Malene Friis, Debnarayan Bej, Ulla Dons Photo Contribution: Mercy Corps and Practical Action Cover photo: Clockwise from Top - Risk knowledge - Monitoring - Communication and dissemination - Response capability Design and Printing: Mind Share Communications Pvt. Ltd.
The views expressed in this document should not be taken in a way to reflect the European Commission; and it is not liable for any use that be made of the information contained herein.
CBDRR CBEWS DM DP DRM EWS EWS MC HFA ISDR NSDRM Community Based Disaster Risk Reduction Community Based Early Warning Systems Disaster Management Disaster Preparedness Disaster Risk Management Early Warning System Early Warning System Management Committee Hyogo Framework for Action International Strategy for Disaster Reduction National Strategy for Disaster Risk Management
Natural hazards do not affect everyone uniformly. It has been established that in event of hazard the poorest suffer most. Because they live in fragile topography, structurally poor houses and have limited resources, their capacity for resilience is extremely low. Owing of their weak resilience capacity, every hazard interrupts their livelihoods, pushing them back to the vicious cycle of poverty. Indeed, for the poor, even small hazards occurring in their surrounding weaken their livelihood strategies, savings and assets. Disaster risk reduction involves activities aiming at reducing such losses by addressing hazards related risks and people’s vulnerability. Early warning is a major element of disaster risk reduction. It saves life and reduces economic and material losses from disasters. To be effective, community based early warning systems need the active involvement of the community people, a strong public education on and awareness of risks, an effective communication system ensuring a constant state of preparedness. In January 2005, the World Conference on Disaster Reduction adopted the “Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters”. This included clear references to the importance of early warning, and encouraged the development of “early warning systems that are people centered, in particular systems whose warnings are timely and understandable to those at risk (…) including guidance on how to act upon warnings (…)”. Nepal has further spelled out its commitment to Early Warning Systems in the National Strategy for Disaster Risk Management adopted by Government of Nepal in October 2009. European Commission Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (DG ECHO) as one of the largest providers of funds for humanitarian aid operations consider likewise Early Warning Systems an essential disaster risk reduction measure. Thus DG ECHO has financed several DIPECHO Programmes (Disaster Preparedness – ECHO) supported partner organisations in developing community based early warning systems. This manual highlights the achievements and progress made by Mercy Corps and Practical Action, their local partners and the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology to establish a functional community based early warning system in Nepal. ECHO is proud to present this training manual as one of the latest outcomes of the community based early warning system implemented in Nepal. Appreciation and thanks are extended to all the contributors to this manual who openly shared their practical experiences, views, and concerns, helping to establish an effective and efficient early warning system placing the people at the core. We sincerely hope that the manual will be used for the benefit of those communities living at risk of flooding in rural Nepal. Claudia Amaral Disaster Risk Reduction/DIPECHO Coordinator Regional Support Office South Asia DG ECHO Luc Verna Technical Assistant DG ECHO Nepal