January 11, 2013

Human societies are always prone to disaster of one kind or another. Yet with planning and co-ordination, they have managed to minimize the impacts. Natural disasters like floods, landslides, earthquakes, Tsunami, typhoons, and forest fires often causes large-scale damage to human lives and property.

Studies of the last forty years have shown an average loss of more than two human lives per day due to the natural disasters. Earthquakes, cyclone, tsunami, and floods have been the biggest hazards in terms of mortality, scale of affected population, and economic losses as far as concerned. It is against this background that we attach great importance to observance of the intention to highlight the seriousness of the problem and to renew our commitment to take up necessary measures to reduce the risk of disaster. Climate change has now become one of the most pressing issues of the 21st century. Its impacts transcended political boundaries and the most vulnerable ones are the worst affected. Least developed countries (LDC) contribute the least in term of greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere, but they are the most vulnerable countries in the world to climate change and its adverse impacts. It is clear that because of rising temperatures and unprecedented snow melt in the Himalayas, the threat of Glacier Lake outbursts has increased in mountaineering countries. This has disasters, jeopardizing life and the livelihood of great majority of poor people.
Gujarat (India) Earthquake in 2001

Natural disasters are beyond our control, but we are not helpless against them. Today, human being is much better facilitated. In this situation, we should urgently raise awareness about ways to minimize risks posed by natural disaster. The cost for preparedness resulting from awareness will be many times lower than the actual physical loss caused by earthquakes, tsunamis, typhoons and forest fires. Taking this into consideration, we should adopted timely precautionary measures.

After Earthquake in Gujarat in India (2001)
People have been fighting globally various kinds of man-made disasters such as epidemics, industrial accidents, explosions, air traffic accidents and other events from time to time in addition to natural disaster such as earthquake, floods, landslide, heavy or low rainfall, tsunamis, cyclone and fire. As we have not accorded due to priority to mainstreaming the concept of disaster risk minimization in our development process, serious damage to physical infrastructure and great loss of lives and properties have occurred every year due to such events. In addition, disaster specialists have projected great destruction arising from the adverse impacts of earthquake, tsunami and cyclone. Haphazard construction of building and physical structures in urban areas could easily aggravate the situation. Each individual and community will have to play an important role to address such as situation.

Tsunami in 2010 (JAPAN)
Earthquakes and tsunami have not only affected one country, but also neighboring countries. The earthquake that occurred in India (Gujarat) in 2001 claimed more than 30,000 lives, nearly 2,000 died in the quake of 1976 in Tianjin, china and three years before in Western China. Again in Haiti, a very powerful earthquake claimed 230,000 lives. Tsunami in Japan and cyclone in USA are another part of natural disasters. These events clearly indicate that no country can fight against natural disaster by itself. Hence, we should work together and move ahead to make people safe. Realizing these risks events, it is urgent that in the days to come, we need to work together on a war footing to improve the quality of disaster management activities such as risk minimization, preparedness, and rescue and rehabilitation.

Haiti Earthquake (3,30,000 died) 
In order to ensure protection from earthquakes, tsunami, fire and cyclone, we should give proper attention to resistant methods and technology while constructing physical structures. If we don’t start making our development activities disaster-sensitive and risk-free, we will not have any choice but to become victims of disasters. Along with increased urbanization, settlement, development, construction of high-risking building and expansion of apartments, it has becomes necessary to develop and enhance the capacity to fight against earthquake, tsunami and cyclones.

There is need to priorities minimization of the impacts of all types of disasters to extend possible. “Lets the community act to ensure safety from earthquakes, tsunami and cyclone, let us maximize use of resources, knowledge, skill and building code” provides a clear message to all of the people to work together from our respective areas. This calls for co-operative and collective responsibility.  
After Earthquake in Haiti (Rescue team)

(This article is base on the compiled the International  speech of the former Prime Minister of Nepal ( H.E. Madhav Kumar Nepal) ) 


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