Govt weakness main cause behind disaster casualties: Home minister

Published On: June 19, 2018 08:10 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, June 19: Minister for Home Affairs Ram Bahadur Thapa has said that weakness on the side of the government is the main reason behind the high death toll of natural disasters in Nepal.   

Addressing an international conference on Earthquake Risk Management in Nepal, Minister Thapa said, “On an average, about 900 people die from natural disasters every year due to negligence by the government. We should not blame nature, we should blame ourselves.”

Welcoming the new Disaster Risk Management Act passed recently, Thapa said, “The government is taking new steps in the field of Disaster Risk Management by revisiting the old acts and incorporating a new view for amendments to the acts.” He lauded NSET for its significant achievements in the reconstruction process.

The program was jointly organized by National Society for Earthquake Technology (NSET), Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA), National Academy for Science and Technology (NAST) and National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) on Monday.

Home Secretary Prem Kumar Rai urged the experts and dignitaries attending the program to help in the process of revision of old acts on disaster risk management. “Since the 2015 mega earthquake helped us realize our drawbacks in the acts, it should be taken as an opportunity for development,” he said, “We are hopeful that NRA, NAST, NSET, private sector and civil society will work hand in hand to be critical of our mistakes and suggest us ideas for amendments to the old act to form a new one.”

The international conference will continue for three days where various Nepali and foreign experts in earthquake, reconstruction and disaster risk management will be taking part in seminars where they will discuss an array of issues relating to Earthquake Risk Management, Preparedness and Reconstruction in Nepal.   

At the program, NRA Chief Executive Officer Yuba Raj Bhusal affirmed that the reconstruction authority has expedited its works in the field of reconstruction of civil properties. “Eighty percent of the affected houses will be rebuilt by the end of this month,” he said, adding, “We have set the goal of completing all the reconstruction works by mid-July 2019.”

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