Earthquake Safe Communities in Nepal

Celebrating the 18th NSET Day, June 18 2011

National Society for Earthquake Technology–Nepal (NSET) celebrated its completion of 18 years of its institutional mission on June 18, 2011. To mark this precious occasion, a special function was organized at Community Earthquake Learning Center (CELC), Bhainsepati, Lalitpur where NSET headquarters reside.  Nearly 250 distinguished invitees among from NSET partner organizations, various agencies, community representatives and also individual personalities joined with NSET Founder Members, Board Members and Staff to celebrate this edition.

NSET was officially registered at the District Administration Office, Kathmandu on April 28, 1994 and at the Social Welfare Council on August 10, 1998. However, NSET was conceptualized formally on 18th June 1993 and the day is observed annually so as to revisit year-long efforts of NSET and streamline further strategies of action toward promoting earthquake safety in Nepalese communities and the region.  NSET’s overall plans, programs and activities are aligned with its long term vision to make “Earthquake Safe Communities in Nepal by 2020”.

On this auspicious occasion, Mr. Amod Mani Dixit, NSET General Secretary and Executive Director, in his statement mentioned that although Building code was prepared by the government during the 90’s there was a big question on how to reach people and implement the building code. And at that time it was felt that there has to be an organization that bridges the gap between the government and the people, and so to reduce that gap NSET was established.  He affirmed that NSET was established on 18th June of the year 1993 and since then 18 active and fruitful years have passed leaving behind a lot of encouraging experiences, lessons and memories which will guide and show the path for future.

Mr. Dixit in his statement expressed his sincere gratitude to Ministry of Home Affairs (MOHA), Ministry of Physical Planning and Works (MPPW), Ministry of Local Development (MOLD), Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC), Lalitpur Sub-Metropolitan City (LSMC) with whom NSET worked very closely; and also to USAID/OFDA, The World Bank, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), European Commission Humanitarian Aid Department through DIPECHO Partners in Nepal who supported NSET efforts on Disaster Risk Management in Nepal. Also he added his thankfulness to NGOs/INGOs, CBOs and various communities in Nepal who continuously encouraged NSET to work with.

Mr. Surya Narayan Shrestha, NSET Deputy Executive Director stated that 18 years of continuous effort of NSET and untiring support from its partnering organizations has made possible to raise the awareness level of the community to some extent but there is still lot more challenges to spread the message to the entire country and it needs a coordinated approach from all the stakeholders. Mr. Shrestha in his statement highlighted about NSET’s attainment towards Emergency Preparedness and Response. He further briefed about salient features of “Earthquake Safety Museum” recently established in the CELC premises.

Addressing the august gathering Mr. Shiva B. Pradhanang, NSET President thanked all the agencies, civic groups and individuals for their untiring support to NSET mission and further requested for their continuous help and support towards making Nepal safe from earthquake risk.

On the occasion, Mr. Ashok Nath Upreti, Director General Department of Urban Development and Building Construction (DUDBC) appreciated the efforts of NSET and its assistance provide to DUDBC towards implementing Building Code. Mr. Bijay Bd. Mali President, Disaster Management Committee –Ward 17 (DMC-17) highlighted the efforts of DMC-17 and Chhetrapati Free Clinic towards disaster risk reduction and thanked NSET for its support in acquiring that. Mr. Umesh Bahadur Malla, well wisher of NSET, congratulated NSET for its success and wished for further success in the direction of achieving its institutional vision. Mr. Jagdish Kharel, Media Person, Image Channel Television, highlighted the role of media in spreading the message of earthquake preparedness and further expressed his willingness to support in building the awareness level of the people.

While during the celebration, NSET President Mr. Shiva B. Pradhanang, Director General Mr. Ashok Nath Upreti and Renowned artist Mr. K.K Karmacharya jointly unveiled the NSET publication ‘NSET Information Kit’. The “Information Kit” documents decade long efforts of NSET in making Nepal earthquake resistant. This publication provides a glimpse of what and how NSET has implemented disaster risk management works in Nepal and the region. The aim is to share the knowledge and experiences publicly and to get feedback and guidance for improving our work in the coming years. This publication should also allow the public to judge NSET's work vis-a-vis its stated mission and vision statement

Special opening ceremony of “Earthquake Safety Museum” established at NSET/CELC premises
Prof. Dr. Dinesh Raj Pant and Child litterateur Mr., Shanta Das Manandhar jointly unveiled the “Earthquake Safety Museum” established in the CELC premise later after the remark session.

The earthquake safety museum is conceptualized as a place to learn everything you want to know about earthquakes. The concept is to collect and assemble the historical and scientific facts available for earthquakes on a continuous basis.  

The museum established at CELC premise houses lots of information on earthquakes. The Museum exhibits live documentary experiences and lessons of the earthquake to the people of the world, as well as to children, who will shape the future. The Museum motivates citizens and visitors to take a sincere interest in, deliberate upon, and understand the importance of earthquake risk reduction.
Presently the earthquake safety museum is comprised of different sections which exhibit:

  • The earthquake phenomenon, maps, images and photos showing the earthquake science, earthquake risk of the world and Nepal
  • Historical record of earthquakes, photographs of historical earthquakes of Nepal – 1934, 1988 and others,
  • Photo, Description about Earthquake Memorial Monuments of Nepal at Bhugol Park, Kathmandu, Mangal Bazaar, Lalitpur and 1988 earthquake Memorial Park, Dharan
  • Photos of earthquake disaster around the world
  • Earthquake Safety Promotion Campaigns
  • Shake table: An unique & powerful awareness tool
  • Earthquake & Creative Minds- A collection
  • Earthquake Safety Day: Mark of National Commitments

The Earthquake Safety Museum is still under development. It is hoped to be able to provide not only exhibits about the geology of earthquakes and historic earthquakes, but real time news about earthquakes as they occur.

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