Among others, engagement with the private sector on Disaster Risk Reduction makes PRAGATI Project unique. PRAGATI is an urban Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) project being implemented in Sankharapur Municipality in Kathmandu and Changunarayan Municipality in Bhaktapur District. Realizing the importance of partnership with private sector, the project is working closely with the private sector, identifying areas of collaboration and investment, building their disaster risk management capacity and preparing them for effective response. The project has facilitated the preparation of Disaster Risk Sensitive Tourism Development Plan (DRSTDP) for Changunarayan municipality. It is working with hotels and homestays together with small and medium enterprises in both the municipalities by providing technical support on preparation of their business continuity plans.
Cecial Adhikari, Consortium Manager
The 2015 mega earthquake in Nepal incurred massive damage throughout the country affecting eight million people. The death toll crossed over 9,000, injured 20,000 and a half-million homes were destroyed. Housing was the most affected sector including schools and hospitals. There was also significant impact to the tourism industry. This has highlighted gaps in resilience – particularly in business continuity planning and implementing and enforcing building policies and standards.
The project location, Nagarkot, in Changunarayan, is a hill-side touristic destination for both non-Nepalese and Nepalese as weekend gateways. It is particularly famous for sunrise views of the Himalayan range including the Mount Everest. More than 60 big hotels, around 35 homestays and 150 restaurants were damaged due to the earthquake. Another project location, Sankhu, in Sankharapur, is an ancient historical town. It is one of the oldest settlements in Kathmandu with the abundance of houses built of burnt and unburnt clay bricks. An assessment showed more than 90 per cent of the buildings, mostly traditional houses, were completely damaged.
The project municipalities are the worst affected areas within Kathmandu Valley. However, there is no authentic records of losses incurred. Therefore, the project is currently documenting the earthquake memories that will archive the damage and losses through the digital stories.
Against this backdrop – PRAGATI Project was designed to work with the private sector along with the municipalities as they are two sides of the same coin. During the project design, various consultations were commenced with the private sector entities in both the municipalities such as hoteliers, Homestay Association, Local Tourism Development Committee, representatives from construction materials suppliers such as interlocking cement bricks and timber, food grain processing factories including rice and lentil mills and a private hospital.
This note has been prepared highlighting the benefits of working with private sector based on the review of number of relevant documents, experience and initial learning gained during the project implementation, consultations with the experts and the local private entrepreneurs.