State Minister of Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development, Janak Raj Chaudhari launched Flood Resilience Portal. Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development (MOFALD) launched the Nepali version of Flood Resilience Portal http://floodresilience.net.np/ to support exchange of information and provide a consolidated information gateway to flood risk reduction and management.
The portal is an outcome of Zurich Global Flood Resilience Program. The program is an innovative initiative teamed up of different civil society actors - Zurich Insurance, Wharton Risk Management, Decision Process Centre, International Institute for Applied System Analysis (IIASA), International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and Practical Action.
The portal is a space where practitioners can find the very best practice or solutions on building resilience to flooding. There exists a number of web based information, predominantly in the wider Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) field available to practitioners. However, gap lies in the standardization and management of the available knowledge. Nepali Flood Resilience Portal (NFRP) is expected to enable practitioners access the most locally relevant flood risk reduction resources and inform resilience building activities with current good practices
State Minister Chaudhary, MOFALD focused on need of localized and contextualized knowledge in Nepal and said, "Government is committed to follow the SENDAI Framework and SDGs to mitigate disaster risks and reduce vulnerability in Nepal. However, government's effort alone is not enough and I call one and all including civil society organizations, development partners, private sectors and media to walk shoulder to shoulder to this effect.
The innovative multi-ownership initiative of Zurich Global Flood Resilience Program is a great support to create space for practitioners share their innovation and best practice." Suresh Adhikari, Joint Secretary of MOFALD, said that the government has recently formulated Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act which has deputed right, responsibilities and duties in terms of DRR to central, provincial and local governments. “I call development partners, civil society organizations and private sectors including media to further scale up government's initiatives. I am also glad to share that MoFALD would like to take the ownership of the Nepali version of Flood Resilience Portal,"said Adhikari as a chairperson of the program.
In the meantime, Head of IFRC, Nepal, Juja Kim also shared that the portal has demonstrated a strong alliance and partnership in commitment to disaster risk reduction and building resilience.
During the program, Dinanath Bhandari, the coordinator of Practical Action made presentation on the portal and shed light on its dynamics. The presentation incorporated portal's current features and opportunities to Nepali DRR actors and community to learn and share through this.
Bhandari highlighted its significance in line with the MOFALD’s plan to set up DRR and climate change information centre at each local government level across the country.
This will provide space to store and retrieve information. Krishna Bahadur Raut, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs; Juja Kim, Head of IFRC Nepal Office; Dr. Rishi Ram Sharma, Director General, DHM; and Achyut Luitel, Director, Practical Action joined the event as guests.
Civil society organizations, development organizations, government officials, donors, different stakeholders and media persons were among the participants of the program.
Nepal is ranked 20th as the most multi-hazard prone countries in the world and 30th in terms of flood risks. Inundation along the river banks in the Terai plains every monsoon poses threat to lives and livelihood of many. Only in the last monsoon, an unusually massive flood, the biggest of its kind in decades affected 35 (18 severely affected) of the country’s 77 districts affecting over 1.7 million people; leaving 460,000 displaced, damaging more than 190,000 houses and leaving 134 dead of which 44 were women.
Events of such kind have potential to trap thousands of families under the line of poverty and halt a country's development. It becomes more and more important to focus on building capacity on concepts and practices of flood risk reduction and resilience using different measures. Knowledge and skills are important and use of advanced technologies can bring about large scale change in inspiring policies, sharing innovation, best practice and learning and finding solutions.
In an effort to identify innovative and cost-effective ways to implement disaster risk reduction efforts at the community and national levels for resilience against flooding, Government of Nepal (GoN) has been working with different actors at international, national to community level.