Earthquake Safe Communities in Nepal

Fire Response System installed in Khokana, Lalitpur under action research program implemented by NSET and Durham University

A Fire Response System has been Installed at Tajhya Tole of Khokana, Lalitpur Metropolitan City-21 with the view to promote women’s engagement and contribution in Disaster Risk Management efforts.

Speaking at an event on February 14, 2019 organized to demonstrate functioning of the Fire Response System, Mr. Rabindra Maharjan, Ward Chairperson, vowed to extend the initiative in other locations of the Ward. "Ward office will organize training programs for local volunteers regarding the operation and handling of fire system soon", Mr. Maharjan added.

On the occasion, Mr. Bijay Krishna Upadhyay, NSET Director for CBDRM Division briefed about the system. Mr. Upadhyay highlighted the importance of such efforts in the context of disorganized settlement and poor road condition in the community. The Fire Response System is comprised of hose pipes, control valves, connections and nozzles which can be easily connected or disconnected to the water pumps. The system has been positioned at strategic locations in Tajhya Tole. There is a pond in the locality that has been selected as the source of water. The system is expected to be enough to respond potential fires that can break out any corner of the community and can cover up to a height of five-storey.

The ward office has taken the responsibility of maintaining the system, produce and mobilize the local teams of firefighting volunteers ready with periodic refresher training programs. The installed fire response system will be operated and handled by community volunteers during the emergency once they are trained on the modality of the operation of system. Ward office is scheduled to organize a training program for local volunteers in this connection.

This effort is a part of an action research program called 'Empowering Women through Disaster Risk Reduction (EWDRR)' which was jointly implemented by NSET and Durham University. The program was launched in Bhainse Ward Number 3 of Bagmati Gaupalika and Tajhya Tole of Khokana Ward Number 21 of Lalitpur Metropolitan City in May 2018.

NSET initiated organizing and mobilizing the women in both the communities with a Risk Perception Survey and Awareness Programs on Disaster Risk Reduction. Informal training sessions were conducted for the community members and disaster management groups on Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment (VCA) and Community Based Disaster Risk Management. Both the communities identified the potential hazards, assessed the risk and existing capacity within the community and came up with priority actions.

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