Friday, September 15, 2017

Flood-resistant houses in six months

The government has decided to build flood-resistant houses in flood-prone districts within next six months. The decision comes a month after floods triggered by the heavy monsoon rains wreaked havoc in Southern plains.
A meeting of the Central Natural Disaster Relief Committee (CNDRC) on Tuesday chaired by home minister Janardan Sharma decided to build flood-resistant houses in the flood-prone districts.
Sharma has instructed the government agencies to come up with a plan for constructing such houses within six months.
Addressing the meeting, which consists of various governmental and non-governmental agencies working in response and recovery phases of natural disasters, he said adding that the government should complete construction of houses within six months and rehabilitate flood victims as quickly as possible.
According to the Home Ministry, some 43,433 houses were destroyed whereas 158,197 houses were temporarily damaged by floods. The August flood displaced nearly 21,000 families temporarily. Although, most of them have returned, many still remain displaced and are taking shelters in makeshift tents. Likewise, at least 159 people were killed in one of the worst water-induced disasters – which struck the southern plains in the second week of August – in many years.
In order to expedite the process, Sharma said required budget would be released at the earliest. "After collecting details, we should start building houses with an aim to rehabilitate the flood-hit within six months,” he said adding that the government will start by forming a committee within a week, which will then prepare estimation for houses with the flood-resistant base.
The recovery of the flood victims in the aftermath of the recent disaster has been sluggish. The National Disaster Response Framework (NDRF) 2015 outlines roles and responsibilities to be carried out by various governmental and non-governmental agencies. These agencies need to work in specific clusters like health, food security, shelter, education and nutrition among others.
The Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development, which should lead early recover cluster as per the NDRF, admitted that the recovery process has been slow due to limited resources.
According to chief of the Municipality and Environment Division of the ministry Suresh Adhikari, local bodies have helped flood victims in rescue phase by providing food items, clothes and temporary shelters, but not much has been done in the recovery phase, especially in reconstruction.
During the Central Natural Disaster Relief Committee meeting, Sharma also directed other ministries and departments to prepare detailed reports on people displaced by floods. He also pointed out the need to construct embankments and other structures under ‘People’s Embankment Project’, run under the Department of Water Induced Disaster Management, only after formulating a sustainable plan. 

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