Surakshit Sahar (Safer Cities) –Urban DRR to Transit from Risk to Resilience Project was started in August 2018 with the aim of contributing to the development of resilient urban communities. The project focused on enhancing the capacity of local government, awareness-raising of communities, and integrating Information Communication Technology (ICT) in planning, preparedness, and the response of multi-hazard risks in selected urban areas. The project aimed to bring out the learning of the project that would be used to develop a full-scale urban DRR and resilience building program and investment plan, creating an opportunity to expand the program in other urbanizing areas of the Kathmandu Valley and also in other parts of the country.
To develop the capacity of urban government and residents to promote practices and options to transit from risks to resilience in rapidly urbanizing areas of Kathmandu and Lalitpur.
The project conducted an urban vulnerability and capacity assessment (VCA) orientation program in ward 9 of Lalitpur Metropolitan City on 11 December 2018 and ward 10 of Kathmandu Metropolitan city on 7 December 2018. The aim was to sensitize and empower elected ward representatives, ward disaster management committees and related stakeholders to assess risks and hazards in their communities and increase their resilience. The program supported the wards in preparing local disaster and climate resilience plans. The local government representatives, local leaders, school teachers, representatives of health institutions, representatives of development organizations and community people participated in the VCA orientation program. Participatory tools like focus group discussion, mobility and problem tree mappings were used to measure the risk and hazard exposure in the communities and understand their capacity to cope with such hazards. VCA provided a clear picture of priorities for getting prepared to avoid and reduce the risk of disasters.
The simulation of earthquake and fire safety was conducted in the selected wards of Kathmandu and Lalitpur Metropolitan Cities. The drill was carried out to enhance the capacities of ward disaster management committees (WDMCs) and the stakeholders to deal with an emergency situation (such as fire and earthquake) and save lives and minimize loss. Participants were provided with information on the types and nature of physical and psychological damages that disasters can cause as well as some tips on how to overcome stress in times of disasters. The wards are now capable of dealing with hazards and can respond well during earthquake and fire events.
ISET Nepal supported establishing an Emergency Operation Center in Lalitpur Metropolitan City Office. The center is equipped with search and rescue materials and an office to manage Disaster Management Information System (DIMS). Mr. Chiribabu Maharjan Mayor of Lalitpur Metropolitan City inaugurated the center on 17th January 2019.
Based on the Geographical Information System (GIS) Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) information system has been established in the selected ward of Kathmandu and Lalitpur Metropolitan Cities. Orientation in GIS was provided to the elected representative in each ward followed by basic GIS training to the local residents, elected representatives and ward officials from 8 to 13 September 2018. The wards were supported with equipment and office setup to document and maintain disasters related information and publications. Materials like GPS (Global Positioning System) machine, computer, printer, pen drive, table, chair and cupboard were provided. Resource maps of the wards were prepared and placed in each ward. Geodatabase of six wards was also prepared. Geodatabase included information about the schools, hospitals, petrol pumps, gas depots, open spaces, temples and water spouts. These databases have been digitized and will be updated regularly. All wards were also provided with refresher GIS training to further enhance their GIS using skills. The GIS system is expected to enable local governments to make decisions.
To sensitize and raise awareness in diverse groups of people regarding urban disaster risk reduction, capacity-building workshops were organized. Tole Development Committees (Tole Sudhar Samiti), women groups, slum residents, youths and journalists were sensitized on the importance of disaster risk reduction. Capacity building of Tole Sudhar Samiti on disaster risk reduction was organized on 8 December 2018 for the representatives of Tole Sudhar Samiti from each working wards and a similar event was organized for Tole Sudhar Samiti of ward 31 in Kathmandu Metropolitan City on 22nd February 2019. Capacity building of women on disaster risk reduction was organized on ward 2 and 9 of Lalitpur Metropolitan City on 25 February 2019 and 21 February 2019 respectively, similarly capacity building of women in ward 10 of Kathmandu was held on 17 December 2018. Slum residents of Kathmandu ward 10 were sensitized on disaster risk reduction on 18 December 2018. Likewise, journalists and youths were capacitated on disaster risk reduction on 17 November 2018 and 28 October 2018 simultaneously. The capacity-building workshop sensitized the participants to initiate disaster preparedness activities at their households and communities level. The participants prioritized disaster risk in their communities and identified prevention and risk reduction measures that could be followed by individuals, households, communities and local governments for building resilient urban communities.
ISET Nepal has drafted Urban Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) toolkit. The toolkit is a comprehensive booklet with information on disaster risk reduction and the steps to be adopted to minimize risks. The toolkit after endorsed by the government will be adopted by the local governments for urban disaster risk reduction.
ISET Nepal provided technical support to Shramik Shanti Higher Secondary School in Chysal, ward 9, Lalitpur to develop school disaster preparedness and response plan for an emergency. On 10 December 2018 Interaction workshop was held with parents, teachers and students to explore the risks of disasters and identify resources available at school to deal with the disasters. Evacuation and Contingency plans for the school were also discussed.
Similarly, ISET Nepal provided technical support and facilitated in preparation of the Emergency Health Preparedness and Response Plan of Urban Health Clinic in ward number 9, Lalitpur. On 9 December 2018 Interaction was held with the health clinic management committee, health clinic staff, female community health volunteers and stakeholders to identify the possible hazard in the clinic premises. The vulnerability and capacity of the clinic were assessed and a consolidated emergency response plan was prepared. The plan provided details on disaster preparedness at the health clinic and listed the roles and responsibilities of the management committee and human resources available at the clinic. The exercise also identified areas for emergency treatment, first aid and other care during a disaster.
On 21st February 2019, the ISET Nepal supported search and rescue materials to Shramik Shanti School, ward 9, Lalitpur Metropolitan City to be utilized by the school and the community. The materials include boot, helmet, jacket, bucket, gloves, mask, crowbar, fire extinguisher, shovel, pick, first aid kit and rope that comes in handy during disaster events and expected to help the school to be resilient in terms of managing a disaster. The availability of search and rescue materials at the school adds support in good execution of the School Disaster Management Plan (SDMP) which was prepared in technical support of Safer Cities project.
ISET Nepal provided technical support in organizing one-day interaction program on legal provisions on disaster risk reduction and management. The program was organized by the Disaster Management Division of Kathmandu Metropolitan City on 29 March 2019. The interaction was focused on the ward representatives from all the 32 wards of Kathmandu Metropolitan City. The major objective of the event was to share the different legal provisions of disaster risk reduction and management such as constitutional provisions of disaster risk reduction and management Act 2074, disaster risk reduction and management National Policy 2075, disaster risk reduction national strategic action plan 2018-2030, local government operation act 2074 including different framework, regulations and guidelines. The interaction program was expected to support ward representatives and concerned stakeholders in preparing local level acts, frameworks and action plans based on available model acts.
ISET Nepal provided technical support in organizing interaction programs with elected representatives and staff of Lalitpur Metropolitan City on disaster risk reduction and urban resilience. The program was organized by Lalitpur Metropolitan (LMC) City Office on 24th and 25th May 2019 in Nagarkot. The interaction was attended by ward representatives from all the 29 wards of Lalitpur Metropolitan City and senior staff of LMC. The overall objective of the interaction was to generate awareness among elected representatives and senior staff to mainstream disaster risk reduction activities in the annual plan of Lalitpur Metropolitan City. In addition to this elected representatives (ward chairpersons) and municipal officials were oriented on legal provisions of disaster risk reduction and management in Nepal and the localization of UNDRR’s (United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction) “Making Cities Resilient Campaign” in the context of Lalitpur Metropolitan City. Altogether 77 persons attended the interaction program. Deputy Mayor of Lalitpur Metropolitan city in her closing remarks said “let us practically implement the disaster risk reduction agendas and actions discussed here. Our metropolitan will succeed when elected representatives and staff work together for a common goal and build urban resilience based on the DRR Act “.
On 21st June 2019, one-day interaction program with local contractors was organized by the Safer Cities project in collaboration with the National Society for Earthquake Technology (NSET). The interaction was conducted with the local contractors from five different wards of KMC and LMC (ward 12 and 31 of KMC and ward 2, 9 and 11 of LMC). Similarly, ward representatives, engineers from KMC and LMC disaster management division offices were present in the program. The overall objective was to assess the needs of local contractors for building safer buildings. In addition to this, the interaction was to find out the status of trained contractors, explore the problems and their solution in making safe buildings for all.
On 27th June 2019 one day interaction with the women’s group of Kathmandu Metropolitan City ward 31 was organized by the Safer Cities project. The interaction was focused on disaster risk reduction at the household level and the tips that can help reduce loss in case of a disaster in urban settings. Disaster may occur at any time and anybody can be affected by it so the interaction was focused on sensitizing women on preparedness for disaster risk reduction at the household level. In addition to this women were sensitized on the importance of microinsurance of their house or enterprises and transfer the risk of physical/financial loss if any disaster happens.
In June 2019 Safer Cities Project supported 1 set television (LG SMART TV, 43″) in ward 2, 9, 11 of LMC and ward 12 of KMC. The objective of providing television is to disseminate information related to disaster risk reduction, disaster preparedness and other relevant information from ward office to the public.