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Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Reduction in Megacities: A Pilot Application in Kathmandu
November 2007 - January 2010
Location: Kathmandu Nepal
Sponsored by: German Federal Foreign Office

About the Project 

The project aims to undertake specific disaster reduction capability building and to strengthen disaster risk management capabilities in the cities of Metro Manila and Kathmandu. The process is designed to engage these cities to undertake a sustained process that mainstreams sound DRR practices within their basic local governance functions such as land-use allocations, urban planning, public works, social welfare, and disaster management. This approach by EMI had been proven to strengthen local human resource capabilities by improving the competencies of urban planners, disaster management professionals, and other professionals and managers.

Project Objectives

The priorities for action are:

  • Strengthening the organizational and operational disaster response, rescue and recovery capabilities of KMC and Kathmandu Valley
  • The incorporation of hazards and disaster management parameters in land use and urban development planning
  • Technical and managerial support to KMC in developing a process for building code implementation
  • Development of KMC-specific DRM risk communication and information technology tools


For the first phase of the project from November 2007 to February 2008, EMI executed a set of activities that looked into two elements: (1) A review of existing Land Use Planning (LUP) documentation; the development of a consensus list of relevant disaster management issues with local authorities and other partners to eventually be integrated into the LUP; and the formulation of  terms of reference for valley-wide LUP, and (2) An overview and analysis of existing disaster management structures, capacities and performance; and development of consensus recommendations on improvements of emergency management capabilities of the Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC). Through a series of consultations with local stakeholders, EMI experts were able to come up with a diagnosis of the current situation of the LUP and emergency management practices within KMC, the broader context of the Kathmandu Valley, as well as the country itself. Discussions with local partners led to the development of a consensus with the local partners in terms of gaps, needs, and priorities. Together with the partners and with the full involvement of the KMC officials, the scope of work for the remaining phases of the project, the forging of a cooperative agenda between EMI and its local partners, and definition of each organization’s roles and responsibilities were agreed upon. Prior to the end of the project’s first phase, a memorandum of agreement was formalized between EMI, KMC and the National Society for Earthquake Technology-Nepal (NSET) for the conduct of future work.

From June 2008 to January 2010, EMI undertook the second phase of the project, which aimed to support the disaster reduction efforts of Kathmandu, strengthen its disaster management capabilities, and facilitate the mainstreaming of sound risk reduction practices into basic local governance functions through the completion of  two main tasks, namely: (1) the development of a risk-sensitive physical land use plan (RSLUP) for the city, and (2) structuring and implementing a competent disaster risk management function at KMC.

Project Accomplishments/Deliverables

  • Formulation of a sensible and rational framework for KMC’s sustainable and disaster resilient development based on solid planning parameters and integrating hazard, vulnerability and risk information
  • Establishment of an operational and competent section in charge for emergency and disaster risk management in KMC
  • Enhanced capacity of KMC stakeholders in risk-sensitive land use planning and emergency management


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