Planning for Disaster Debris

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) presented “The Kathmandu Valley Post-Earthquake Debris Management Strategic Plan” to the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development (MoFALD) for future planning in Nepal. 
Under the leadership of MoFALD and Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA), IOM has developed this comprehensive Debris Management Plan which consists of strategies pertaining to specific tasks and operations of each potential actor in order to assist and facilitate the life-saving activities, the early recovery operations as well as the reconstruction process in case of large scale disaster

Kathmandu valley is considered highly susceptible to seismic activities. On the occurrence of an earthquake with a magnitude of 8 or more on the Richter scale, an estimated 100,000 people might lose their lives. Moreover, about 200,000 might be severely injured and 1.8 million might be internally displaced, whereas 60-80 percent of the buildings in the valley could be destroyed or severely damaged resulting about 55-65 million tons of debris from the destruction. 

Thus, the sizable amount of waste generated could overwhelm the existing solid waste management facilities leaving a negative impact on other emergency responses and recovery activities. A poorly managed disaster waste is a threat to the health, safety and the environment. It could be a major obstacle to the post-disaster rescue operations.

IOM, with support from USAID/OFDA and together with the Government of Nepal, the private sector and development partners, can coordinate safe and low environmental impact rubble management and removal to help facilitate a speedy return to normalcy. 

Using a layered approach, the plan emphasizes on the participatory approach in order to consolidate expertise and experience that lie in different organizations and government agencies. It will enable the government agencies, humanitarian actors, private sectors and the local communities to plan establish and coordinate the responses to manage the debris in order to provide immediate relief in the midst of an emergency and to build back better.