Bihar takes first step to create long-term disaster preparedness plan for the state after #NepalEarthquake

Bihar takes first step to create long-term disaster preparedness plan for the state after #NepalEarthquake

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@OxfamIndia helping #Bihar take stock of it disaster preparedness till 2030 http://bit.ly/1AYYTRw

1934 earthquake devastated #Bihar. Now again with #NepalEarthquake. What can the state do? http://bit.ly/1AYYTRw

The second earthquake, which jolted Nepal, left a trail of casualties and damage in India’s eastern state of Bihar too.  Nineteen people lost their lives and buildings were damaged in the state. 

Hence, the timing of the First Bihar Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) could not be better.

The two-day conference, being held in Patna city, was organised by the Disaster Management Department, Government of Bihar in collaboration with Bihar State Disaster Management Authority (BSDMA), and Oxfam India to develop the DRR roadmap of the state for 2015-2030.

Speaking on the first day of the conference, Bihar Chief Minister, Nitish Kumar said: “Disaster risk reduction cannot be sole responsibility of government, until and unless all stakeholders including civil society organisations, international NGOs, media, academicians, DRR experts and most importantly community at large justify our efforts of disaster preparedness.”

Bihar is prone to multi-hazards like flood, earthquake, high wind velocity, cold wave, heat wave as well as recurrent village fires in summer.

This is not the first time Bihar has been shaken by an earthquake which originated in Nepal. The 1934 Bihar – Nepal earthquake was one of the worst in India's history. With a magnitude of 8.1 on the Richter scale it claimed the lives of 7253 people in Bihar.

Addressing the conference, Executive Director, National Institute of Disaster Management, Santosh Kumar said: “The reach surge of earthquakes have affected river courses, which might bring monsoon floods in Bihar. This could be an earthquake induced disaster.”

Highlighting the importance of pre-disaster planning Kumar advocated for at least 20% investment of any project cost towards disaster preparedness.

Oxfam India at the event

Oxfam India organized plenary sessions on “Resilient livelihoods with reference to food security, agriculture and livestock management.” 

The panellists made the following recommendations towards building a cohesive roadmap for disaster resilient Bihar:

 

  • Include rescue of animals in our project/rescue operation
  • Involvement of women farmers in all the aspects of adaptive agriculture
  • Crop should be temperature and flood resistance
  • Knowledge has to be delivered to vulnerable farmers
  • Appropriate linkage with government schemes

 

Written by: Oxfam India staff

Photo credit: Adya Gupta and Khairul Sheikh


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