Getting down to local level: exploring vulnerability to improve disaster management systems in Nepal

Aryal, Komal (2012) Getting down to local level: exploring vulnerability to improve disaster management systems in Nepal. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

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Abstract

This research explores disaster vulnerability in Nepal. Disaster vulnerability is increasing due to the following reasons: weak governance; demographic growth; rapid urban expansion; relatively weak land use planning; the growth of informal settlements; poor construction methods; steep land farming practices; the encroachment of river plains and forest areas; and environmental degradation. This research is divided into three parts; problem overview, mapping past disaster events and community vulnerability.
Often disaster management practice at the national level has tended to focus on large-scale events. In Nepal, there is a history of government responses to large-scale disasters; however, evidence increasingly shows that small-scale disasters have a more significant impact on people’s livelihoods. This is the case in Nepal and it is unclear whether small-scale disasters have prompted policy change. The purpose of this research is to evaluate the impact of small-scale disasters and to ascertain if there is any evidence of a shift in government disaster management policy. Local disasters seem to dominate the lived risk experience, but there is little understanding of how small-scale disasters can contribute to disaster risk reduction knowledge.
Urban and rural communities differ in their understanding of small-scale disaster knowledge base, not least because both populations have little experience of the risks they take as a result of migration to new environments. This study captures 10 years of field experience in Nepal. This research has found that:- Small-scale disasters have a greater impact than larger disasters. Without an integrated policy and legislative framework approach from government and a focus on small-scale disasters, it is unlikely that effective disaster risk reduction measures will be integrated into sector development planning. People’s knowledge of, relationship to, and interactions with small-scale hazards in a changing climate produce new risks and vulnerabilities at the local level.
This thesis concludes with recommendations for improving disaster risk reduction at the local level in Nepal.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: F800 Physical and Terrestrial Geographical and Environmental Sciences
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Geography and Environmental Sciences
University Services > Research and Innovation Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Philosophy
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Komal Aryal
Date Deposited: 24 Sep 2012 14:23
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2016 07:19
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/9145

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