May 10, 2015

May 10, 2015

16 Days of Devastating Earthquake

Focus on Sustained Management


More than eight thousand have died and twice the number has suffered injuries in the April 25, 2015 earthquake, the worst to strike Nepal since 1934. This number is increasing. Government records show that more than five hundred are still missing. This devastating earthquake has destroyed 288,797 private houses. Of the damaged 254,112 houses, it is still not clear how many are safe enough to settle though 15 days have passed following the earthquake.

The preliminary rescue efforts of the government came under fire owing to its lackluster disaster management. It is a known fact that Nepal is among the 13 earthquake-prone countries. The experience of this time has shown that the number of lives that can be saved depends on how effective the search and rescue work is carried out within 24 hours. The support of international troops equipped with necessary equipment was crucial in the search and rescue efforts. Nepal government has already requested the international Search and Rescue (SAR) teams to return saying that the remaining rescue efforts could be carried out from national capacity.

Police chart_eng

Source : Nepal Police

Informal Sector Service Centre (INSEC) has been supporting the rescue, search and relief efforts through all of its regional offices and 75 district representatives. It has also played a role in coordination through regular monitoring. All information related to earthquake has been regularly disseminated through Nepal’s first human rights news portal ( INSEC district representatives, local administration and victims are our source of information. According to the information provided by our representatives, the relief programs after rescue efforts have not been managed properly.

This earthquake has sent us a message to remain alert in future, teaching us a lesson on what kind of disaster we have to face if the persons responsible are not accountable. There are reports that more than 50 percent of the houses build in Kathmandu do not adhere to standards. This scale of loss of human lives and properties would not have taken place if those making and allowing to make such structures, and people giving such practice legal status were held accountable. Additionally, government’s regular monitoring on the quality of construction materials is imperative.

70-90 percent of health organizations in the most affected areas have sustained damage. According to Ministry of Health and Population, 269 government and eight private health organizations have been destroyed while 527 government and seven private health organizations have suffered damage. It is important to immediately adopt short-term and long-term policies to operate these organizations. Health condition of injured, children, pregnant women and women in postpartum condition, and elderly people is vulnerable in post-earthquake situation. Special care should be given regarding the health condition of these groups while devising such policies. The psychological effects of the earthquake in normal lives should be mitigated by issuing public notice in media and making arrangements for free treatment.


Source :

The earthquake has destroyed many school buildings and damaged many, rendering them unsafe for use. According to the Education Department, 575 schools have been destroyed and 969 schools have sustained damages in 36 districts. The safe school buildings have been turned into shelters for earthquake victims. It is not possible to conduct classes in these schools until other alternatives for shelter are arranged for these victims. Hence, it is necessary to make arrangements for shelters for the earthquake victims before starting the education calendar. Moreover, the studies should begin even by merging these schools into other schools. Inactive children tend to be out of control and the risk of them getting into criminal activities for fun in situation of emergency. Thus, this requires serious attention.

The monsoon is expected to begin in three weeks. Most of the tarpaulins distributed now will not be able to withstand rain. Until the management of permanent shelter is arranged, the main challenge seems managing shelter for the quake survivors. The materials from the collapsed houses can be used to make temporary housing. Taking this into account, INSEC has provided some construction materials including nails, rope, hammers with sanitary items to quake survivors in some VDCs of Kavre, Rasuwa, Nuwakot, Lalitpur and Ramechhap. INSEC family will be active relentlessly in support of quake victims.

INSEC family pays heartfelt tribute to all those who lost lives to this deadly earthquake and expresses condolences to the bereaved families. We wish for the speedy recovery of all the injured. Furthermore, at this time of crisis, we pledge to offer our full support in the relief and rehabilitation works. We have presented the below recommendations on the basis of the experience we gathered during our monitoring.


  1. Form a separate government organization for search, rescue and post-disaster management.
  2. Planned involvement of NGO sector in rehabilitation, disaster management efforts and in increasing fund.
  3. Establish monitoring mechanism for relief distribution up to grass-roots level and arrange relief distribution in just manner.
  4. End construction of temporary housing till mid-June and appeal NGO sector to support this effort.
  5. Request for sector-wise support to those countries that have already committed support.
  6. Begin required works to manage structures at risk immediately.
  7. Conduct disaster management trainings in NGO sector.
  8. Adopt necessary measures to bring all those involved in illegal construction work under legal ambit.
  9. Include topics regarding earthquake preparedness and safety measures to follow during earthquake in school curriculum.


Bijay Raj Gautam

Executive Director