Nepal quake anniversary underlines need to build back better
25 April 2016, GENEVA – The head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, Mr. Robert Glasser, today marked the anniversary of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake which struck Nepal last year with a call for greater investment in resilient infrastructure if the death toll from future earthquakes is to be reduced.
Mr. Glasser said: “The Nepal Earthquake was long forecast and worse could happen in the future. As the rebuilding effort is now set to get underway in earnest, every support must be extended to the three million or more people who lost their homes a year ago so they build back better to earthquake-resistant standards.
“Building back better cannot be done overnight. Nepal is a textbook example of how difficult and long drawn out the process can become when risk governance is complicated by the overall political context, including major gaps at the level of local government. The socio-economic impact of this disaster is enormous and it will have a long-term impact on the country’s development and the welfare of its people.
“UN member States have recognised that reducing earthquake risk is a priority given that about 750,000 people have died in earthquakes and tsunamis over the last 20 years. Nepal and recent earthquakes in Ecuador and Japan are a reminder of the urgent need to invest in disaster resilient infrastructure as agreed in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. A major part of urban resilience is ensuring compliance with building codes and planning laws.”