Post-disaster Waste Management: Lessons Learnt from 2015 Nepal Earthquake
Nepal, a landlocked, mountainous country, lies in the Alpine-Himalayan belt. Ranging from an altitude of as low as 70 m to as high as 8848 m, Nepal consists of different topographical features and climate varying according to widespread range of altitude. With these significant variations, the country is highly susceptible to damage from different disasters such as floods, landslides, earthquakes, fire, hailstorm, cloudburst, droughts, famines, and epidemics. It is one of the top twenty countries in the world which is prone to multi-hazard destruction. Hence, according to United Nations Development Program, it has been ranked 4th in the context of vulnerability to climate change, 11th in terms of earthquake, and 30th in relation to flood risks. Changes that are unusual as well as sudden are the reasons humans incur considerable damage to lives and property. Depending upon the nature and severity, disaster creates a large volume of debris and waste, i.e., disaster waste. The waste generated from these unusual events can account for an additional 5–10 times of the solid waste generated normally, and it can have adverse impacts on environmental and public health if not handled carefully. A general overview related to management of debris waste generated from April, 2015 Gorkha earthquake of 7.8 Mw and an aftershock of 7.3 Mw is presented in this paper. Following the lessons from the implementation of Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA), the need for a more focused action within different sections has given rise to four basic prioritized areas in relation to Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR). Nepal being a signatory to the SFDRR 2015 needs to comply with the obligations and prioritized actions within the allocated time limit. Moreover, there have been numerous works needed to be done to develop national strategic plan of action along with a new disaster management act in accordance with the Sendai Framework. Post-disaster Waste Management can be considered as a mechanism for handling, treatment, reuse, and recycling of disaster-generated debris that must comply to standard technical practice in solid waste management system as well as the emergency response and recovery system. In the aftermath of the Gorkha earthquake, at least fourteen million tons of debris have been generated from 99,331 fully or partially destroyed houses. The characterization of the different types of disaster waste, its management during the post-earthquake scenario, as well as plans and guidelines have been reviewed and reported.
KeywordsNepal Earthquake Disaster waste Impact Strategies
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