Tips from Nepal on post-quake measures


Guwahati, May 18: Assam will take a cue from Nepal on post disaster rehabilitation and reconstruction.

A team of Assam government officials visited Nepal to study the rehabilitation process of the 2015 earthquake victims to gather knowledge and be better prepared to tackle a similar situation in Assam that falls in a high-seismic zone.

The five-member team, led by state project coordinator of the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) Rajib Prakash Baruah, visited the Himalayan nation from May 1 to 5 and interacted with government officials, members of voluntary organisations and earthquake victims, among others, to get first-hand knowledge of the strategies adopted by the neighbouring country in rehabilitating the victims and reconstructing the damaged buildings.

ASDMA project manager (response and recovery) Mirja Mohammad Irshad, ASDMA project manager (disaster risk reduction) Mukta Ram Deka, chief executive officer of district disaster management authority, Kamrup (metro) Pulak Mahanta and project manager of district disaster management authority, Kamrup (metro), Kaustav Talukdar were the other members of the team.

Baruah said during their visit, they had studied what Nepal had done to cope with the unprecedented disaster and how it is carrying out the rehabilitation process. They also studied technical and financial help extended by foreign nations and international aid agencies to Nepal and how these efforts were coordinated.

The team interacted with Nepal’s joint secretary for policy planning, monitoring, development and cooperation Yam Lal Bhoosal, director-general of International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) David Molden, chairman of Community Self Reliance Centre Suresh Dhakal, office bearers of Nepal Red Cross Society and others.

The team, which will submit a detailed report to the state government on their visit shortly, also visited some of the worst-affected villages and interacted with the locals.

Baruah said before the earthquake, the home department of Nepal was responsible for disaster management but following the disaster, a new specialised agency, National Reconstruction Authority (NRA), was created, headed by a chief executive officer, who is a senior Nepal civil service officer.

The team also checked how various ancient monuments, including some Unesco world heritage sites, which were damaged, are being restored.