On February 6, 2018, a fire broke out in three houses in Thulogaun village of Rolpa district. As the fire was gutting the houses, villager rushed in a house and rescued 10 years old child and his mother who were trapped inside. Their lives were saved but they sustained burn-injury. The villagers immediately managed to send them to the hospital in nearby district Dang for the treatment and provided the affected families with shelter kit and foods from the emergency fund.

Earlier on January 27, 2018, six houses were burnt to the ashes in the Ghodagaun village. As the fire was massive it was difficult for villagers to control it but they tried hard to minimize the damage. A group of people immediately reached to the site and evacuated the livestock. Fortunately, no human casualty happened. They immediately informed Nepal Police, Nepal Red Cross Society and government agencies for further support and also arranged shelter, hygiene and kitchen kits through support from ADRA Nepal.

The people who rushed in all incidents were no other than the members of Community-based Disaster Management Committees (CDMC) and Task Force Teams (TFTs) who were oriented and trained on light search and rescue, early warning and first aid.

“We received DRR trainings from the Good Governance and Livelihood (GOAL) Project and basic rescue materials. The trainings have been very useful for us especially as we live in a disaster-prone area,” shared Bam Bahadur Pun, Chairperson of CDMC, Uma Cluster.

Fire outbreaks and landslides are quite common in Rolpa and Pyuthan districts. In view of possible risks of such disasters, GOAL – a project funded by Government of Australia through Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) – has prioritized disaster risk reduction activities in 12 VDCs by then.

Under the GOAL project, twelve CDMCs and 36 TFTs were formed and facilitated to develop a Community-based Disaster Risk Reduction Plan to mitigate future risks. A total of 291 including 159 female were capacitated in emergency response. The project has also supported to establish the emergency fund in each CDMC which was later topped up through community and local government contribution. Communication information board, weather channel board were also placed for quick response plan and preparedness.

“I appreciate the project for raising awareness about disaster preparedness as we live in a place that is prone to different kind of natural and manmade disasters,” said Netra Bahadur Chhetri, Mayor of Sworgadwari Municipality.

(Photo: Purna Lal Shrestha)