July 20, 2024, Saturday
Nepal 1:37:26 pm

Preparing for Monsoon

The Nepal Weekly
June 11, 2024

The rainy season – the Monsoon – is about to begin. Experts say the country should prepare for it in both ways: getting ready to minimize the impact of heavy rain and flood and also being alert about possible drought in some areas affecting the seasonal crops. History teaches that Nepalis should develop a sense of resilience and expertise for facing the adverse consequences of the Monsoon rain. Nepali agriculture depends on the rain and if the rain is adequate and on time the agro production will be as per the annual expectation. Less rain or untimely rain on the other hand will handicap the farming and it will have an adverse impact of the overall GDP of the country. Although at the highest governmental level all talk about preparedness for mitigating the adverse impact of the Monsoon. The way it is structured is also appropriate. But the actual functioning of the preparedness structure is always in question. As a result of that, the disaster such as high river flood, landslides and blocking of key highways in the country for weeks together turn out to be the regular features. The same results in adverse impact on other sectors of the economy. Some areas in hilly and inner Terai regularly suffer from shortage of food grains in summer; the same should be supplied prior to heavy rain. This has not yet been done. Had there been serious thought about Monsoon-preparedness, this task would not have been left out. Similarly, the key highways-portions most likely to have landslides during rain have not yet been attended. Rivers and streams which regularly overflow during monsoon compelling farm to be destroyed and farmers to be displaced have not yet witnessed the flood-check dams – temporary or permanent. All these indicate weakness of disaster risk management segment of governments – federal, provincial and municipality-level. Desertification trends in some parts of the country always crop up and some areas do not receive adequate rain resulting in low or no agricultural production. Way to tackle it has not yet drawn the attention of the authority concerned. City areas also suffer most during rainy season through the overflowing streams and rivers. A sound plan to tackle it has not yet been prepared. A serious homework on time for minimizing the disaster risk would enable the government to save more and strengthen the resilience of individuals and institutions. The grass root level institutions of the municipalities and wards should also be made alert and able in this regard. They should be equipped with adequate cash and equipment for facing the disaster risk. All should remember that a functional disaster risk minimizing plan should be kept ready well on time.