Disaster Resilient Communities in Nepal by 2050

Nepal Earthquake Risk Management Program, Stage II (NERMP 2)

Nepal Earthquake Risk Management Program, Stage II (NERMP 2) started in March, 2011 with the funding support from US Office of the Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA). NERMP2 is the logical continuation of a long term efforts of NSET in reducing earthquake risk in Kathmandu Valley and Nepal, which OFDA / USAID has been supporting since 1997. NERMP2 is built on the efforts to continue the momentum of successes achieved by its fore-runner project NERMP (2007-2011) in terms of enhancing earthquake awareness, earthquake preparedness at household and community levels, school earthquake safety, capacity building for earthquake resistant construction of non-engineered building constructed of local materials through training of masons and other stakeholders in building production mechanisms, partnership building and promotion among various stakeholders. NERMP and NERMP2 were the two programs that built upon the successes of the earlier programs of Kathmandu Valley Earthquake Risk Management Project (KVERMP, 1997-1999) and the Action Plan Implementation Project (APIP, 2001-2006).

NERMP2, thus, aimed firstly at proliferation of earthquake disaster risk reduction (EDRR) in Nepal by scaling up of the successes achieved under NERMP, and secondly, it focused on institutionalization of the successful approaches, methodologies, policy advancement, training curricula and courses, and programs by working closely with government agencies at central, district and local levels and also with other stakeholders and communities by proposing and implementing innovative program concepts such as  building code implementation, urban regeneration, etc.

NERMP2 made a long-lasting impact in Nepal and the region because of the successful and replicable approaches, methodologies, and demonstrated earthquake risk reduction in a poor economy developing country of Nepal, and hence an important project with rich lessons and success stories useful for Nepal and also other developing countries of Asia.

NERMP2 sought successfully to build upon and consolidate the gains of partnership with OFDA, and improve it by designing and implementing new innovative activities directed towards assisting and supporting relevant government agencies at central and local levels (ministries, departments, district and municipal authorities), either as a stand-alone effort under this project or in collaboration with other international organizations that have started supporting government agencies in building capacities in aspects of earthquake disaster risk management. NERMP2 thus wants to help Nepal to shift emphasis from achieving “Islands of successes” to “Proliferation of DRR by institutionalization”.

NERMP2 had four key activities. Each of these key activities consisted of several interrelated and mutually complimentary activities which provided comprehensiveness to the program and put all activities in a logical order. Main activities under NERMP2 were

» Enhancing disaster awareness and capacity,
» Disaster risk reduction,
» Enhancing emergency response capacity, and
» Institutional strengthening for sustainability.

The program NERMP2, and its predecessor NERMP, were very successful and also impactful, as these programs formed the backbone of Nepal’s overall preparedness towards earthquake hazard, and influenced, to varying degrees, all main stakeholders in Nepal – from government agencies at central and local levels to donors, private sector businesses, the UN agencies and the NGOs.

Several of the initial ideas in NERMP2 were so strong that they were quickly replicated by other national and international partner agencies, both bi-lateral, multi-lateral, and non-governmental ones. Training of masons, shaking table demonstration for earthquake awareness, mason training for earthquake resistant construction or seismic retrofitting, school earthquake safety program, and so on have entrenched deeply into the lexicon of development and humanitarian programs of Nepal.

Interestingly, a couple of the activities subsequently developed into important  stand-alone projects that started being implemented both by NSET and also by several other organizations, both Nepal government organizations and other development partners. Examples are: 1) Building Code Implementation Program for Nepal (BCIPN), 2) Public Private Partnership for Earthquake Risk Management (3PERM) that containing such important components as 3) Urban Regeneration in city core areas of Kathmandu, 4) Massive earthquake awareness using media including the community radio stations, 5) Risk Sensitive Land use planning (RSLUP) etc. The Asian Development Bank ultimately decided to assist Nepal Ministry of Education to implement the School Earthquake Safety Program (SESP) which has helped scale up seismic retrofitting of schools by many folds. These innovative programs ultimately shaped the current image of earthquake awareness in Nepal, these activities help carved out the image of NSET as the national center for earthquake risk management in Nepal.

The activities of emergency preparedness under NERMP2 focused on proliferation of emergency preparedness and non-structural mitigation to the wider community. During the course of implementation, NERMP2 explored the possibility of implementing special emergency preparedness program targeted to community and to women folks.

The Institutional strengthening activity targeted enhancement of institutional capacity of NSET and also of some of the municipalities. This emanated from the foregone fact that NSET has become, as envisioned in its mission and vision statements, a national center for earthquake risk management activities in Nepal.

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