All 10 local units in the district have allocated Rs 29.677 million for prior preparation to reduce disaster risks.
The local units in Achham have established disaster risk reduction and management funds prioritising the construction of disaster-resilient physical infrastructure.
"The fund will make it easier to reduce the impact of probable disasters," said Laxmi Saud, the vice-chairman of Dhakari Rural Municipality. “The local units will not only focus on building disaster-resilient infrastructure but will also train the locals to be prepared for emergencies.”
Kamalbazar and Mangalsen have allocated Rs 1 million each while Sanfebagar and Panchadeval Binayak have allocated Rs 1.753 million and Rs 2.5 million respectively. Similarly, Chaurapati, Mallekh, Bannigadi Jayagad, Ramaroshan, Dhakari and Turmakhand have allocated Rs 5.3 million, Rs 3.05 million, 1.05 million, Rs 1.009 million, Rs 10 million and Rs 2.2 million respectively.
Besides these local units, ward no. 3, 4 and 5 of Ramaroshan Rural Municipality have also contributed Rs 815,000 to the fund. Each local unit will use the fund separately.
In total, all 10 local units in the district have allocated around Rs 29.677 million to the fund.
“We have started to run risk reduction programmes from the local level,” said Om Prakash Bista, the mayor of Kamalbazar Municipality. “We have been conducting awareness campaigns and other activities in schools and communities.”
Bista said that local levels must prepare themselves for disasters and that the locals must be equipped with the basic knowledge of a first responder.
“It is important to make people capable of keeping themselves safe during times of disaster,” he said.
The Local Government Operation Act 2017 and Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act 2017 have given the responsibility of disaster management to the local levels. The periodic plans consider local levels as the agents of development.
Kalu Singh Kunwar, the chairman of Sanfebagar Municipality Ward No. 2, said every school building was inspected to ensure the safety of children.
“The Gorkha Earthquake of 2015 has taught us a great deal about the importance of disaster preparedness and disaster management,” said Kunwar. “We have become more active in places where children, women and the elderly are involved.”
Lalit Dholi, the chairman of Kamalbazar Municipality Ward No 4, said his office has been running awareness campaigns on disaster management in several communities and villages.
"The locals should be trained and provided with the skills and knowledge to take care of themselves and others around them during disasters,” Dholi said.
The communities must be made aware of natural as well as man-made disasters that can affect them in the future, said Dholi.
"The fund will be used to tackle disasters such as landslides, floods and erosion during monsoons,” said Saud.