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International Recovery Platform

Earthquake risk reduction and recovery preparedness programme for Nepal


Nepal is a highly seismic country, lying between collisions of Indian to the Eurasian plate and it moving continuously resulting devastating earthquakes within this region. It is one of the countries where the earthquakes are frequent and sometimes very devastating. Nepal experienced such catastrophic damages in 1934 and 1988 earthquakes. Nepal is a mountainous country with total population of 23.1 million according to census of 2001 and the urban population is 3.2 million representing about 14 percent of the country's total population. The national population is growing at the rate of 2.25 percent annually. Although the percentage of urban population is small however the urbanization is taking place at faster rate than that of the developed countries leading to high demand for housing in the urban areas.

Earthquake resistant building construction therefore is the challenge before us. As urbanization is increasing day by day and the construction of the buildings haphazardly without considering earthquake resistant factor. As of recent years, most of the uncontrolled building processes are rapidly producing structures of unacceptable standard and prone to the risk of damage and collapse under earthquake. It was estimated that 207,000 buildings were affected in 1934 earthquake of 8.4 Richter scale in Nepal as one of the biggest earthquake. Another big earthquake occurred in Eastern Nepal in August 1988, magnitude of 6.7 Richter scale. After 1988 earthquake, resulting 721 deaths and more than 20,000 buildings collapsed or damaged including many hospitals and school buildings, drew attention to the Ministry of Physical Planning and Works (former Ministry of Housing and Physical Planning), the need for changes and improvement in current building construction practices in Nepal.

Earthquakes remain a major concern in Nepal, especially in urban areas In fact, according to BCPR's (Bureau of Crisis Prevention and Recovery) 2004 report, "Disaster Reduction: A challenge for development", Nepal is the 11th rank in the world in vulnerability to earthquakes hazards and seismic faults passing through Nepal makes the entire country susceptible to this phenomenon.  

Taking into account, the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) has developed risk reduction strategies based on the recommendation of the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA). The UNDP/BCPR with the support of Government of Japan initiated an earthquake risk reduction and recovery preparedness (ERRRP) program in five high risk south Asian countries: Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, India and Pakistan. The project in Nepal is a part of the five country regional programme in South Asia that seeks to support regional cooperation through knowledge sharing and development of best practices in the context of the SAARC Comprehensive Framework on disaster management agreed in February 2006. In the 13th. SAARC summit also it was recognized that cooperation among the region for effective disaster preparedness is essential. 

The country programme is designed, in the context of the International Recovery Platform (IRP) for the fulfillment of HFA 2005-2015: Building the resilience of nations and communities to disaster, to strengthen the institutional and community level capacity to plan and implement earthquake risk reduction strategies and disaster recovery preparedness in Nepal.

Project details

Project Duration: October 2007 to December 2009
Programme Period: 2007 to 2010
Award ID: 00047754-NEP/07/010 (00057599)
Management Arrangement: National Implementation (NIM) project of UNDP-Nepal
Programme Component: MYFF (Multi Year Funding Framework) Service Line 4.5 - Natural Disaster Reduction
Source of Fund: Government of Japan
Goal: To reduce the impact of potential earthquakes on seismically vulnerable communities in Nepal
Purpose: To strengthen national capacity (institutional and community level) for pre-disaster preparedness and mitigation and post-disaster recovery planning with a focus on targeted earthquake-prone urban areas of Nepal

Key Activities:
  1. Earthquake risk, vulnerability and capacity assessment conducted in the project areas, especially from gender and poverty perspective, to support the government and communities
  2. Capacities of government institutions and communities living in high risk areas enhanced to adapt and implement earthquake preparedness planning and safe construction practice using appropriate earthquake resistant construction guidelines
  3. Capacities of the government strengthened in disaster recovery preparedness to support enhanced recovery operations in post-disaster situations
  4. Capacities of the government developed to implement national disaster management framework by supporting locally appropriate solutions for earthquake risk reduction proposed by Nepal

Selected municipalities for the project implementation
The Project Appraisal Committee has approved the following municipalities to be covered under this project.

  1. Central Region Hetauda municipality
  2. Eastern Region Biratnagar sub-metropolitan city
  3. Western Region Pokhara sub-metropolitan city (including the transferring of the technology to the technical staff of the adjoining Lekhanath municipality
  4. Mid-western Region Birendranagar municipality
  5. Far-western Region Dhangadhi municipality 

Municipality Selection Criteria
Following are the criteria for selection of municipalities:

Implementing Organizations and it's role
This being a National Implementation (NIM) project of UNDP, the implementation responsibility of the project will be with the Government of Nepal. From the perspective of project management the following government organizations will be involved:

  1. Ministry of Physical Planning and Works Department of Urban Development and Building Construction (MOPPW / DUDBC): Responsible for the overall implementation of the project as the focal agency in GoN for Nepal National Building Code implementation
  2. Ministry of Home Affairs: Responsible for inter-ministerial coordination as the nodal agency in GoN for disaster management
  3. Ministry of Local Development: Responsible for inter-municipality coordination as the focal agency in GoN for all local level coordination
  4. Selected Municipalities: Responsible for the municipality level activities of the project

Project office: The project office is located in the Department of Urban Development and Building Construction (DUDBC), Babar Mahal, Kathmandu
Project Assurance: Project assurance would be undertaken as per the monitoring systems established by the new Results Management Guide and Monitoring and Evaluation unit of the country office using appropriate tools developed for the same. The reporting mechanism will include Quarterly Progress Reports (QPR) and Annual Progress Report. These reports will be the part of the annual review process.
Monitoring and Evaluation: The monitoring will involve field travel to the project municipalities for reviewing compliance with the annual work plan aimed at achieving the results as established in the project document.
Output indicators: Earthquake risk and vulnerability of project areas and capacity of central and respective local institutional mechanism in reducing the same assessed; Capacities of focal line ministries and selected municipalities enhanced in earthquake risk reduction; Recovery preparedness framework prepared; Lifeline buildings retrofitted and / or demonstrative housing will be constructed.


Mr. Amrit Man Tuladhar
Senior Divisional Engineer, Section Chief, Ministry of Physical Planning and Works Department of Urban Development and Building Construction Babar Mahal, Kathmandu, Nepal and National Program Manager, Earthquake Risk Reduction and Recovery Preparedness Programme for Nepal (UNDP/ERRRP Project)
Tel: +977 14262431
Fax: +977 14262474
Mobile: (977) 9851107103


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