Due to rapid urbanization and growth, several cities in Nepal are vulnerable to multi-hazard risks and their impacts. With support from European Union Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is working with three municipal governments (Lalitpur, Bharatpur and Bhimeshwor) to create a common understanding on urban disaster risks and collaborate in addressing such risks while preparing for and better responding to resultant humanitarian emergencies.
Fires and earthquakes are recognized as the most common and recurring disasters in these urban areas. Keeping this in mind, UNDP recently conducted a series of Advanced Firefighting, Rescue and Hazardous Material Handling trainings to enhance capacities of the local fire brigade for effective and coordinated fire response in future. Further, the first phase of a series of scenario-based simulation (Simex) exercises were also conducted to assess capacities of local stakeholders, community members and first responders to deal with fire and earthquake incidents. Capacity development initiatives will be tailored and implemented accordingly in due course.
Kishor Bhattarai, former Fire Brigade chief of Kathmandu and instructor for the Advanced Firefighting, Rescue and Hazmat Handling training demonstrates correct techniques of addressing fire hazards to local firefighters of Lalitpur Metropolitan City.
Photo credit: Abhushan Gautam