Rebuilding resilience 7 years later

The NRA has set an example of planned and systematic reconstruction within a tight deadline. It was able to serve as an example despite the Covid-19 crisis that followed. Now that the NRA is dissolved, its remaining responsibility has been handed over to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Authority (NDRRMA).

The creation of the NDRRMA is in itself a paradigm shift in Nepal’s approach to disaster risk management: from being mostly response-centric to prioritisation of understanding risk, improved governance, financing, including preparedness for effective response, recovery and reconstruction.

The NDRRMA has not only taken on the NRA’s remaining task of reconstruction, but also a responsibility to increase resilience during future disasters.

We as a nation seem to have short-term memory. We easily forget how narrowly we escaped death just a few years ago. A lot of things could have gone wrong on this day seven years ago. The 2015 earthquake was not as destructive as it could have been because of few favorable situations. We may not be as lucky next time.

We have some urgent tasks: strict implementation of proper building codes, introduction of insurance instruments for our houses and public property, training human resources for post-disaster rescue operations, establishment of effective multi-hazard early warning systems, and massive awareness campaigns about safety and preparedness.

Our municipal governments have designated jurisdictions to manage disaster risks. However, building codes are being implemented only in selected urban municipalities. We need to strictly implement these codes in rural municipalities as well. Adhering to the building codes is not only necessary for receiving bank loans, but it is also important to save our lives.

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