Kathmandu: Workshops on resilient reconstruction and development held in various earthquake-affected districts have been found to be effective, the participants have said. The people’s representatives of the local governments appreciated the initiative taken by the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA), as these workshops helped them formulate plans for resilient development.
Representatives and participants of the workshops are of the opinion that these workshops on the ‘government for resilient development’ are timely and helpful.
Total of 1,656 local government representatives and staffs have participated in the workshops till mid-March that are being organized by the Earthquake Housing Reconstruction Project (EHRP) of the NRA, according to Bharat Prasad Aryal, Project Director of the EHRP. All the 1,974 participants from 282 local governments will be given the opportunity to participate in the workshops.
The workshop was first held on February 8 in Kavrepalanchowk in which eight local government chiefs, deputy chiefs, chief administrative officer, disaster coordination committee coordinator, local representatives and staff’s had participated.
Chief Executive Officer of the NRA Sushil Gyewali has stated that these workshops were conducted to inform the local governments on necessary thematic policy, strategy, working procedures and practices to guide them on resilient development works by reducing the risks of disaster.
Saying that the concept of earthquake-resilient technology has reached to the grassroots level during the reconstruction, CEO Gyewali said, “These workshops have been organized to strengthen local governments for the sustainability of disaster management.”
Chief Executive of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Authority (NDRRMA) Anil Pokharel said that it is very important to capacitate the local governments in disaster risk reduction, as the Sendai Framework, as agreed upon by Nepal, states that investment should be made to reduce the risks of disaster.
The EHRP has prepared a model for the workshops by providing three-day workshops for people’s representatives of the local governments and five-day workshops for staffs working at these local governments.
The three-day workshop is available for four participants each local government – Chief or Deputy Chief, Coordinator of the Disaster Management Committee, woman member and the Chief Administrative Officer. Similarly, the five-day workshop is provided for the Chief of the Planning Division in the local government, engineer and ward secretary of the disaster-affected ward, among others.
Nepal is in the risk of multiple disasters due to its geological and geographical terrain and extreme climate related human-induced reasons. Due to regular occurrences of disasters, there are physical and human losses and livelihood is affected, thereby having a negative impact oin the national economy. Thus, it is imperative to capacitate the local governments to make them able to face any disaster and get prepared for them.
As per the Constitution, the basic development works, including housing, are under the jurisdiction of the local governments. And, as the local governments have the decisive role in disaster risk reduction and disaster-resilient development, the NRA organized these workshops to train the people working in these local bodies.
The training workshops have been organized in Kathmandu and Chitwan by dividing 32 earthquake-affected districts into two clusters. The EHRP has also published a training manual to run these workshops effectively.
Here are some experiences of the organizer and the participants.
Ashok Kumar Byanju
President, Municipality Association of Nepal and Mayor, Dhulikhel Municipality (Kavrepalanchowk)
The work of disaster risk reduction and management falls under the responsibility of the local government. Therefore, capacitating local governments is strategically important. It is important for all the local governments to increase their capacity to assess, prepare, reduce and manage probable disasters in their areas. At present, local levels also have disaster management committees and sections, but not enough staffs, knowledge and budget. Still, it is necessary for us to be attentive to manage competent staffs and budget in the local government. Thus, these workshops help local governments improve their knowledge and capacity which will help minimize the damages in case of disasters in future.
Bharat Prasad Aryal
Project Director, Earthquake Housing Reconstruction Project
In the last five years, we have been working in reconstruction and rehabilitation sector. While working, we felt that we should pay enough attention to disaster risk reduction and management related works. We gained that experience too. We felt that this experience and learning should be transferred to the relevant body.
According to the federal structure, local development and disaster risk reduction and management’s exit points are the local governments like rural municipalities and municipalities. As per the Nepal government’s policy, law and strategic work plans, the local governments have been given the responsibility of disaster risk reduction and management, and resilient development. Therefore, it is the local government’s responsibility to protect people’s lives and property and promote resilient development by reducing the risks of any disaster.
Keeping this reality in mind, we have organized these training workshops targeting the people’s representatives and staffs of the local governments. All the participants have said that the workshops have been very useful.
Some people’s representatives have said that they could have done a better job if these workshops were held earlier, as they are useful and necessary also. Some of the development partners have also approached us to use our training manual as they found it effective. The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Authority has been active in this process from the very beginning. Our working areas are 282 local governments of 32 earthquake-affected districts. However, these training workshops should be held in all the 753 local governments.
Duf Kumar Bastola
Chair, Necha Salyan Rural Municipality, Solukhumbu
The workshop and training were very good and useful. This kind of training updates us on new developments and necessity. This training will not only help us on formulating plans to reduce the impact of disasters, but also helps us in the sustainable development. We have felt the changes. We will definitely include the issues raised during the training workshop while formulating our plans and programs in coming days.
This training has also opened a door to delve deeper into the issues of relevance. I think the training manual is also very timely and excellent. These issues should be included in the curriculum of schools, universities and public service commission also. I believe that organization of such workshops for the staff at the local governments will provide additional support in project planning and implementation.
Ward Committee Member, Chandragiri Municipality, Kathmandu
The three-day workshop on disaster management and resilient development has been very encouraging. I felt that if we had received such workshop earlier, we could have been able to perform better during our tenure. As I am also in the environment management committee, this workshop would help me in the preparation to face any disaster and adopt necessary measures in rescue works and in rehabilitation. I believe that the training has helped us in working towards building disaster-resilient houses in our municipality and carry out works to control landslides. We can use the knowledge gained here in formulating new policies and revising old ones. The workshop has been very effective both in terms of the issues and the management.
About training manual
The National Reconstruction Authority and the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Authority have jointly prepared a training manual for the workshop. This manual includes Nepal government’s strategic workplan, other policy and structural provision, disaster-resilient buildings and infrastructure, soil-technology solutions, among other issues. It also deals with weather and climate resilience, natural resource management for disaster resilience, resilient agriculture, resilient education sector and financing issues for disaster resilience.