[Press Release] Nepal Boosts Earthquake Preparedness
30 April 2013
Earthquake preparedness in Nepal took a step forward this week with the allocation of support roles to sites earmarked for humanitarian use around the capital.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) elaborated the list during a two-day workshop in the capital Kathmandu last week.
The 83 humanitarian open spaces identified jointly by MoHA and IOM will be at the disposal of displaced and affected populations in the event of a disaster. Services provided could include shelter, food and non-food items, medical services, and security.
The pros and cons of each site were critically evaluated for their suitability as camps, water, sanitation and health facilities, medical facilities and logistics. The need for identification and allocation of similar preparedness activities in other cities across Nepal was noted at the workshop.
Laxmi Dhakal, Joint Secretary of MoHA, stressed the government’s commitment to preparing for an earthquake in coordination with all humanitarian partners. “This will be essential in saving lives. The identification and allocation of the open spaces is a major step forward in this process”, he said
IOM’s Chief of Mission in Nepal, Maurizio Busatti, noted, “The MoHA’s initiative has brought us all closer in preparing ourselves for an earthquake and ensuring a more resilient society”.
IOM estimates some 40,000 people could lose their lives and up to 200,000 could be injured if an earthquake of eight on the Richter scale were to hit Kathmandu valley. In such an event the two large, six medium, and 75 small sites inside the valley could be used to provide shelter to almost 800,000 displaced people.
Also participating in the workshop were various government representatives, Nepal Army, Armed Police Force, Nepal Police, The Red Cross, donors, UN Agencies and non-governmental organisations.