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Disaster risk profile and existing legal framework of Nepal: floods and landslides

Authors Gaire S, Castro Delgado R, Arcos González P

Received 9 June 2015

Accepted for publication 21 July 2015

Published 3 September 2015 Volume 2015:8 Pages 139—149

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/RMHP.S90238

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Mary Schmeida

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Professor Frank Papatheofanis

Surya Gaire, Rafael Castro Delgado, Pedro Arcos González

Unit for Research in Emergency and Disaster, Department of Medicine, University of Oviedo, Campus del Cristo, Oviedo, Asturias, Spain

Abstract: Nepal has a complicated geophysical structure that is prone to various kinds of disasters. Nepal ranks the most disaster-prone country in the world and has experienced several natural calamities, causing high property and life losses. Disasters are caused by natural processes, but may be increased by human activities. The overall objective of this paper is to analyze the disaster risk profile and existing legal framework of Nepal. The paper is based on secondary data sources. Major causative factors for floods and landslides are heavy and continuous rainfall, outburst floods, infrastructure failure, and deforestation. Historical data of natural disasters in Nepal show that water-induced disasters have killed hundreds of people and affected thousands every year. Likewise, properties worth millions of US dollars have been damaged. There is an increasing trend toward landslides and floods, which will likely continue to rise if proper intervention is not taken. A positive correlation between water-induced disasters and deaths has been observed. Nepal has a poor Index for Risk Management (INFORM). There are fluctuations in the recording of death data caused by flood and landslides. The Government of Nepal focuses more on the response phase than on the preparedness phase of disasters. The existing disaster management act seems to be weak and outdated. There is a gap in current legal procedure, so the country is in dire need of a comprehensive legal framework. The new proposed act seems to take a much broader approach to disaster management. With a long-term vision of managing disaster risk in the country, the Government of Nepal has begun the Nepal Risk Reduction Consortium (NRRC) in collaboration with development and humanitarian partners. In order to improve the vulnerability of Nepal, an early warning system, mainstreaming disasters with development, research activities, community participation and awareness, and a rainfall monitoring system must all be a focus.

Keywords: risk, vulnerability, risk factors, natural hazards, natural disasters, monsoon rainfall

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