Buddhi Kumal

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Buddhi is a Senior Project Officer working on Disaster Risk Reduction in Nepal for Practical Action South Asia

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Posts by Buddhi

  • Flood mock exercise triggers disaster preparedness

    June 13th, 2018

    Disaster preparedness is crucial for prevention of losses and successful coping as well as building community flood resilience. Better preparedness ensures reduced loss of people, their assets and livelihoods. Building on the end to end flood early warning systems Practical Action has been helping communities in its projects to adopt ‘flood mock exercise’ as an approach to self-test the capacity to respond floods and institutionalise disaster preparedness at all levels in Nepal.

    Day of nationally coordinated action

    First aid volunteers performing mock drill.

    On 5 June 2018, while world marked environment day, flood vulnerable communities organised flood mock exercise to ensure they are ready to upcoming monsoon rains and potential flood they would generate. Generally, monsoon rains start by 10 June in Nepal. Therefore, the day is much appropriate to test the preparation and ensure everything is in place. On this day, community disaster management committee (CDMC) at grassroots level performs and leads different actions as a part of preparedness such as testing of risk information sharing devices/techniques, practicing of rescuing people at risk, providing first aid service, bringing people and their assets to safe place, informing local security personnel, serving dry foods among others and so forth activating available humanitarian clusters and coordination mechanism. These actions are linked to national level flood forecasting, monitoring and communication abilities. It’s truly a nationally coordinated action.

    Joining hands with local governments to initiate more actions on disaster preparedness

    Community members and stakeholders reviewing the event.

    Flood vulnerable communities coordinate with local government including emergency service providers for flood mock exercise. The local security forces perform flood mock exercise in collaboration with community people. Local governments joined flood vulnerable people in the exercise. This helped local governments understand community initiatives and institutionalise the flood preparedness actions during monsoon. The local governments determines the most flood vulnerable communities and takes decisions to perform flood mock exercises. Later on, after review of flood mock exercises, local government officials move on for further preparedness.

    A wake up call for all

    DHM’s text message on status of flood sent via Ncell.

    Flood mock exercise brings together all level DRR stakeholders together for single objective in common platform. Agencies responsible for risk monitoring, generating risk information and disseminating it to respective people and DRR actors has to work in in close coordination and collaboration. It is so interdependent that every agency should awaken to complete their tasks and provide and pass on the support to next. In Nepal, Department of Hydrology and Meteorology (DHM) is responsible to monitor flood risk and provide it to Emergency Operation Centers and other agencies. They monitor different systems and generate rainfall and flood risk information for different time period in defined river basins in flood early warning system. The other DRR agencies then, act on the available information. The information is shared and disseminated through defined diverse communication channels such as online bulletins, social media, telephones, text messages, FM radios, sirens and volunteers visiting door to door.

    During mock exercise, these all agencies and the community have opportunity to test the ability and functionality of the system they work in. Nepal’s largest private sector telecom Ncell have volunteered to send text messages to their subscribers in the area decided by the DHM or MoHA. The EOCs who are working on behalf of Ministry of Home Affairs mobilized a team to disseminate risk information messages and district government decisions as District Disaster Management Committee (DDMC) decisions.

    Building community flood resilience
    This is an innovative strategy for disaster risk reduction promoting institutionalization of good practices and checking preparedness in time at the face of upcoming flood risks. Bringing everybody together it reveals the need of joint actions; the largest training for everybody useful to life saving. The communities lead the response supported by all around at local to international using modest technologies. It is small, simplified and very important. Truly beautiful!

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  • Tikapur warehouse eases relief distribution

    August 25th, 2017

    A warehouse in Tikapur, constructed with the support from Nepal Flood Resilience Project in coordination with government and non-government stakeholders, worked well in the flood of 2017. The warehouse eased the relief collection, storage and distribution and made the process smooth, transparent, equitable and timely.

    Stockpiled relief materials at the Tikapur warehouse.

    All agencies and individuals handed over relief items to the Nepal Red Cross Society (NRCS) which was gathered in the warehouse. The NRCS then distributed the items to the needy people in coordination with local government, civil society organisations and other humanitarian organisations including Good Neighbor, Care Nepal and CEWIN Nepal. As of 21 August, 233 families have got relief supports such as tarpaulin, blankets, food materials, mosquito nets, school dress, stationery and hygiene kits.

    In the similar events in the past, the humanitarian agencies used to move directly to flood affected areas and distribute relief materials which used to be very chaotic,” said Jagdishwor Pandit, President of NRCS Tikapur Sub-Chapter. “But this year, the warehouse eased the relief distribution process. We coordinated with local leaders of affected communities and government representatives about the need and then the stockpiled relief materials were transported from the warehouse for distribution.

    An inundated house in Kailali.

    On 12 and 13 August 2017, there were torrential rains which filled in all rivulets and drains within hours and caused unanticipated inundation across the villages and towns at Tikapur, Kailali. The initial assessment showed that 1,844 households have affected at different places by this flood.

    Tikapur Area Police Office inundated by floodwaters.

    Furthermore, the local government offices such as Tikapur Municipality and Area Police Office were inundated for two days. The flood level in the inundation areas varied from 1 to 4 feet deep. This flood also destructed public services such as transportation services which was obstructed for four days, power cut for a day, market closed for two days, telephone network disturbed for a day and it also affected drinking water supply system.

    Tikapur warehouse.

    The warehouse was constructed at Tikapur-9, Kailali with multi-stakeholders’ collaboration. Mainly, it involved Area Administration Office-Tikapur, Area Police Office-Tikapur, Federation of Nepal Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI), Nepal Red Cross Society (NRCS) Tikapur Sub-Chapter, Tikapur Municipality and Nepal Flood Resilience Project. This is the only warehouse in Tikapur which has capacity to accommodate non-food relief item (NFRI) sets for 290 households.

    The warehouse is situated at a strategic location from where NRCS can distribute the NFRI for all wards of Tikapur Municipality in case of any disasters happening there. The warehouse was constructed to enhance the capacity of local stakeholders to respond timely and efficiently to disaster affected families. It also has certain number of rescue equipment such as mattocks, shovels, safety helmets, buckets, life jackets, and crowbars to support rapid rescue. The NRCS has been leading its operational and management committee which comprise key contributors and local stakeholders as its committee members. The committee is governed by the guideline formulated for its operation and management.

    Find out more…

    Discover how effective Practical Action’s other interventions were during the 2017 floods and landslides in Nepal.

    Read more about Practical Action’s work in Disaster Risk Reduction and as part of The Zurich Flood Resilience Programme – or about our ongoing programmes in Nepal.

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