Earthquake Safe Communities in Nepal

Nepal observed 21st Earthquake Safety Day, Prime Minister stressed on building disaster resilient communities

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has urged all stakeholders to join hands for minimizing impending earthquake risks in Nepal. Addressing the National Meeting of 21st Earthquake Safety Day held in Lalitpur, Prime Minister Oli has re-iterated the commitment of Nepal Government to work together to enhance earthquake safety and help building disaster resilient communities in Nepal. “Collapse of a house in Nepal is not just the collapse of an ordinary physical structure, it’s related to our attachment, livelihood and even to the confidence of house-owner. Let’s focus on building our houses safer”, remarked Prime Minister Oli. Prime Minister highlighted that Government is considering for more organized and institutionalized DRR efforts to devise and implement so that efforts are more sustained and result-oriented.

Nepal marked 21st edition of Earthquake Safety Day (ESD) with various events at central, provincial and local level with the slogan "Committed Governments at all levels to ensure Citizen's Right to Safety from Disasters". Lalitpur Metropolitan City hosted the National Programs of 21st Earthquake Safety Day on Jan 16, 2019.

The National Meeting was chaired by Home Minster and Chairperson of the ESD National Organizing Committee Mr. Ram Bahadur Thapa 'Badal'. Addressing the meeting, Home Minister Thapa stated that Government is giving top priority to Disaster Risk Reduction and emphasized the need of localization of DRR initiatives. Minister Thapa also focused on effective implementation of National Building Code and adopting safer construction practices to minimize the earthquake risks.

Mr. Sushil Gyewali, Chief Executive Officer of National Reconstruction Authority, briefed the progress of the ongoing post-earthquake reconstruction works. CEO Gyawali remarked, “reconstruction of 55 percent of schools, 50 percent of the health posts and around 45 percent of private housings has been accomplished so far.”

Mr. Chiri Babu Maharjan, Mayor of Lalitpur Metropolitan City, highlighted Metropolitan City's efforts on implementation of National Building Code claiming that early and effective enforcement of Building Code contributed to minimize the human casualty and property loss during 2015 Gorkha Earthquake.

At the program Mr. Maniram Gelal, Coordinator, ESD Publicity Sub-Committee and Director General, Department of Urban Development and Building Construction (DUDBC) briefed on how Building Code implementation is progressing in Nepal.

Ms. Valery Julliard, UN Resident Coordinator of UN addressing the meeting opined, “given Nepal’s seismological risk, Earthquake Safety Day is a significant reminder to understand its underlying risk &to put necessary preparedness measures in place so that people across Nepal whether they are at home, school or work remain safe”.

Mr. Surya Narayan Shrestha, Member Secretary of ESD National Organizing Committee and NSET Executive Director presented highlighted the importance of marking the Earthquake Safety Day. Executive Director Shrestha also briefly presented the key outcomes of Panel Discussion held prior to the National Meeting.

Earlier, Earthquake Safety Rallies started from four different places of Lalitpur, Balkumari, Gaahiti, Pulchowk and Lagankhel, with the awareness raising messages, that gathered in Patan Durbar Square to turn into Earthquake Memorial Meeting. Also, Earthquake Memorial Meeting was held in historical Earthquake Monument at Bhugol Park, Kathmandu. Home Minister Mr. Ram Bahadur Thapa 'Badal' joined both the Mmeorial Meetings together with Mayors, Parliamentarians, elected Representatives from Metropolitan Cities, Security Forces and participants from various walks of social life.

Reports are coming from different parts of the country about the 21st Earthquake Safety Day held in those places.

Nepal marks Earthquake Safety Day (ESD) every year on 15 or 16 January (Magh 2 according to Nepalese Calendar) commemorating the Great Bihar-Nepal Earthquake of 1934 by organizing various activities nationwide. The main purpose of marking this Day has been to re-affirm national commitment to enhance Earthquake Resilience of Nepali communities and also share and review past experiences & strategize further.

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