74 mock drills conducted in Karnali River basin of Nepal ahead of monsoon season

5 June 2015

Practical Action in coordination with Department of Hydrology (DHM) and local authorities organised 74 mock drills on early warning system (EWS) at 74 communities of Bardiya and Kailali districts in Western Nepal on 5 June 2015.

The massive drill, with the involvement of more than 740 women volunteers, 1126 task forces, 630 disaster management committee (DMC) members and 20 project staffs, was organised to develop a culture among the communities to conduct such events in the future by themselves without any external support.

On 5 June early morning, the community people received phone calls and SMS at around 8:00 am from the gauge reader at Chisapani gauge station located at upper stream of the river where flood information is monitored. The gauge reader informed that there was 9 metres of flood – it was the first message.

Immediately, the early warning system (EWS) task force informed the DMC and started informing every community member.  For mass communication, EWS task force used hand sirens, flags and megaphones. Right after 15 minutes of first call, the communities received second phone call and SMS from the gauge station informing that the flood level head reached 10 metres. The community members started the evacuation process – they were ready to evacuate to safer places but at the same time the task force started to evacuate the highly vulnerable people like people with disability, elderly women, pregnant women and children towards pre-defined safe places.  Rest of the people were evacuated after they received the information that the flood level have crossed 11 metres.

Three different task forces were activated with equipment and materials. Safety and rescue (SAR) team rescued the injured people, first aid team did the first aid treatment and transported the injured to hospital whereas the EWS team did internal and external coordination. The DMC did the overall management including shelter management, relief, etc.

The mock drill was conducted just before monsoon. It was helpful in terms of updating emergency equipment, communication phone directory, communication channels and making the communities ready to cope with the upcoming flood this year.

Disaster risk reduction in Nepal

Practical Action works in the Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) sector in Nepal to save lives, livelihoods and properties of women and men residing in the vulnerable parts of the country by building their resilience. Practical Action has been a leading organisation in Early Warning System (EWS) devel...

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