Govt alerts local bodies against fire risks

Govt alerts local bodies against fire risks

07 April 2013

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Nepal —  Concerned over the increasing incidents of wild fire and related natural disasters with the advancement of the dry season across the country, the government on Friday directed the local bodies to work towards mitigating the risks.

A meeting of the Central Natural Disaster Relief Committee chaired by Home Minister Madhav Prasad Ghimire decided to take initiatives to alert the municipalities equipped with fire brigades for action any time and facilitate less equipped local bodies in tackling the disasters.

The meeting also decided that the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development will start working with the local bodies to facilitate the allocation of at least five percent of the total internal income for natural disaster mitigation and its effective management. The meeting held at the Home Ministry also discussed the draft proposal on national disaster preparedness and report on capacity-building of the Search and Rescue Operation, deciding to forward it to higher authorities for approval, said Laxmi Dhakal, joint-secretary at the MoHA.

In the last couple days, infernos in Morang, Sunsari, Saptari, Sindhuli, Bhojpur and Bara districts destroyed more than 60 houses and animal sheds, destroying property worth million of rupees. Incidents of forest fire in the mid-hills and the Tarai are being reported.

According to Ram Chandra Neupane, general secretary at the Disaster Preparedness Network-Nepal (DPNet-Nepal), more than 90 percent fire -related cases result from human carelessness. Lack of adequate attention to fire at home, careless use of match boxes or lighters and careless disposal of burning cigarette buts top the list of the causes of fire .

“There is a need for public awareness of fire s and measures to control them to prevent severe consequences,” Neupane said, stating that the involvement of the local communities in information-sharing and undertaking control measures in cases of fire are must.

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