A disaster is a serious problem occurring over a short or long period of time that causes widespread human, material, economic or environmental loss which exceeds the ability of the affected community or society to cope using its own resources.
Studies say that developing countries suffer the greatest costs when a disaster hits – more than 95% of all deaths caused by hazards occur in developing countries, and losses due to natural hazards are 20 times greater (as a percentage of GDP) in developing countries than in industrialised countries.
Nepal has fragile geology and steep topography make 20th topmost disaster prone country in the world. Among 200 countries, Nepal ranks 4th, 11th and 30th with regard to relative vulnerability to climate change, earthquake and flood hazards respectively. It faces high magnitudes and intensities of a multitude of natural hazards such as flood, landslide, earthquake, fire, hailstone, windstorm, thunderbolt, cloudburst, drought, glacier lake outburst flood (GLOF), avalanches and epidemics.
Monsoon is the rainy season which starts normally around mid-June, peaking in July and August, and winding down in early September in Nepal. Monsoon brings humidity and an increase in temperatures across most of country as well. Paddy plantation is the main agricultural activity in the early Monsoon season.
Moreover, most of the natural disasters like flood, landslide, inundation, snake bites, water-borne epidemic take place in Nepal is Monsoon season.
This is worth to mention that Government of Nepal (GoN) had endorsed a National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) Policy 2075 and Disaster Risk Reduction National Strategic Action Plan 2018 – 2030, which provides a comprehensive planning framework for disaster risk reduction and management in Nepal, encompassing different priority areas and guiding government actors and stakeholders to achieve targets by adopting appropriate processes.
Nepal Business Initiative (NBI) had organised National level dialogue on private sector partnership and collaboration in Disaster Risk Reduction and Management in Kathmandu recently. The event was coorganised by USAID’s Tayar Nepal.
President of NBI Kush Kumar Joshi said that business sector needs to be ready for own institution, community and the country to prevent possible loss and damage caused by disasters, help rescue and resilience. Therefore, knowledge on the preparedness and rescue method should be provided to all. Four million persons are engaged in the business sector of the country which can play major role in disaster risk reduction activities by imparting knowledge and gathering rescue materials as well.
Former President Padma Jyoti in his concluding remarks said that business community should knowledge and strength to tackle risks generated by disasters which can happen without prior notice or alarming.
On the occasion, SumanShakya elaborated the role of private sector in disaster risk reduction and management. Through the powerpoint, he mentioned the measures to be taken to minimise the risks. He emphasized on business continuity management and business continuity plan. These two factors should be incorporated in the business plans of the business entities.
National Business Initiative (NBI) was established by fourteen major Nepalese business associations, and individual companies as an apolitical and non-profit-making organization in 2005.NBI seeks to strengthen the role and capacity of the Nepalese private sector to contribute in sustainable peace in Nepal. It does so by mobilizing the existing private sector bodies at local and higher levels, generating new knowledge relating to private sector on softer issues around peace, conflict & development and creating demand as well as support for positive change in the society. NBI has been conducting such capacity building events among business entities and organisations for years.
USAID’s Tayar Nepal is supporting legislative reform, small-scale infrastructure, and disaster response capacities to reduce vulnerabilities and economic impacts of the hazards Nepal contends.
USAID helps strengthen the systems and capacity of relevant government actors under the federal legislation framework passed in 2017 that created the new disaster risk management (DRM) system. This enabled Nepal to move beyond simple disaster response to a more systemic approach of the disaster management cycle and allows USAID to implement a holistic, multi-hazard risk-reducing approach to DRM through better linkages between local and federal government, and civil society. (By R.P. Narayan)