Disaster Risk Management: From Preparedness to Response in Thecho of Kathmandu Valley, Nepal
Disaster preparedness is one of the component of disaster risk management among Prevention, Mitigation, Preparedness and Response (FAO, 2008) . Earthquake is one of the most destructive natural hazards, which occur at any time causing disaster. The current study explores the status of earthquake disaster awareness and preparedness in ward number 12 of Godawari Municipality (previously, Thecho VDC). The study is based on pre and post-earthquake disaster survey of 25 April, 2015 through household questionnaire survey, KIS, FGD and field observation. The study found that although majority of households are aware and have knowledge of earthquake, preparedness at both household and community level was very low before the earthquake. Saving money was the most practiced emergency preparedness whereas only five percent households have emergency kit for the disaster. The knowledge on awareness and preparedness rose from eighty percent before earthquake to ninety-two percent after the earthquake. Similarly, perception on vulnerability of human loss and physical property rose from seventy-three percent to ninety-five percent. Individual household and community role was identified as key for disaster risk reduction and survival strategy (e.g. arrangement of emergency kit) which rose from five percent to ninety-five percent after earthquake. The study revealed that people were aware and have knowledge on earthquake disaster but preparedness strategies are not implemented neither existed any disaster response plans at household or community level. People’s risk acceptance and preparedness is determined by direct event experience in contrast to risk perception of potential disaster. Earthquake risk reduction and implementation of the action plan at community level is important. It is concluded that media and local organizations could play major role in awareness on preparedness whereas individual household and community are key for implementing the preparedness strategies to reduce disaster loss and damage. Knowledge, awareness and preparedness at individual household level are key and most effective for reducing earthquake vulnerability at local level.
The Third Pole: Journal of Geography
Vol. 17: 98-108, 2017