I was deployed to Nepal in September to work on Disaster Risk Reduction.
Nepal is a relatively small country which is both socially and geographically diverse. These factors along with the interesting history of the country especially in terms of it’s governance have played significant roles in shaping the Nepal of today.
The country is known around the World for having some of the Earth’s highest peaks and for being situated in the Himalayan mountain range. It is also know for the events of 2015, when it experienced a destructive earthquake and successive powerful aftershocks. The earthquake killed nearly nine thousand people, injured tens of thousands and left millions in need of humanitarian assistance. The damage across the country cost Nepal tens of billions of dollars and left the country heavily in debt.
Unfortunately, the country is also vulnerable to landslides, drought and flooding. It ranks higher than 83% of countries assessed on the multi hazard index which measures exposure to hazards, socioeconomic vulnerabilities and coping capacity. Similarly Nepal ranks highly on the lack of resilience index which assess the susceptibility to impact from hazard events and the inability to absorb, respond to and recover.
In my role I have worked in three districts of Nepal – Kathmandu, Nuwakot and Okhaldhunga. I have been primarily working with victims who’s homes were damaged or destroyed in the earthquake, women health volunteer groups, local government and schools. My mission is focused on increasing preparedness and resilience. My work primarily involves sharing knowledge and best practice through trainings and workshops, conducting research, supporting reconstruction, supporting community-led approaches and fundraising.
Reducing vulnerability and building resilience to natural hazards is clearly important if we wish to stop history repeating itself in Nepal. Many people remain in need of support and are still living in temporary shelters – which offer little safety or security. The challenges faced by some in the country are big – discrimination, marginalisation, illiteracy to name but a few. As we all know change is often not easy. It requires determination. It often takes time to be achieved. It’s a mountain that needs to be climbed. Nepal is a country full of mountains but luckily it’s also full of climbers.
partner association: Vin Nepal