An Open Letter to the Prime Minister

April 20, 2018 | 12:52 pm | By: Climate Reality Project Nepal

An Open Letter to the Prime Minister

Require your immediate action to tackle monsoon flooding in Nepal

 

To,

 

The Prime Minister

Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal

 

Subject: Require your immediate action to tackle monsoon flooding in Nepal

 

Your Excellency KP Sharma Oli,

 

Climate Reality is an international Non-Governmental Campaign on Climate Change. We write to you in the aftermath of the series of floods observed in the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal in 2017. We write to draw your attention to the severity of the monsoon flooding and hope to direct towards some of the possible solutions that can be implemented at the earliest.

Monsoon floods, as we understand and scientific investigations suggest, are a result of the climate change occurring around the globe resulting from anthropogenic activities coupled with natural phenomenon. Some of the anthropogenic activities include but not limited to deforestation in upstream watersheds, carbon emissions from transportation and industry, diminishing flood sinks caused by encroachment on marsh lands and mangrove forests, inefficient infrastructure that cannot respond to unprecedented floods.

 

We observed that 143 people died and 1.7 million are affected, with half a million homes completely or partially destroyed.  There are indications that monsoon flooding over years has intensified in terms of water quantity and duration. This unprecedented flooding requires the immediate attention of the Nepal government. Several measures need to be implemented both at the community and the national scale to ensure the impact on human life is prevented or at the least reduced during such flooding.

 

There have been precedence in the world that have reduced the impact of floods, have contained flooding, and have developed resilience mechanisms. These include but not limited to early warning systems such as that in Bangladesh, afforestation on a massive scale, like the one in the biggest state, Uttar Pradesh (holds the world record for setting up Guinness World Record of 50 million trees planted in 24 hours), and Land Use Planning in most of the world.

 

However, we feel that there is need for urgent actions to revert the natural disasters such as the current one and reduce its impact.

 

Your Excellency, we understand that Nepal has committed to and ratified Paris agreement on Climate change and include plans to increase renewable energy production which shows Nepal’s intent to move to a low carbon development pathway.

We also request a strong commitment from your end with respect to implementing stringent policies and laws governing deforestation along the watershed areas. We would also recommend afforestation along the watershed areas and Climate Reality team will be totally committed to this. We observe that the major impact on human life arises from the lack of preventive measures for such situations in spite of previous flooding experience in the same place around the same time. A community based alarming systems need to be implemented at a larger scale to alert and evacuate the people in the flood prone areas to reduce human impact. Additionally, disaster management as part of the curriculum has to be implemented at a primary school level in flood prone areas. This will educate children about the flooding situations and ways to tackle them and also help set up preventive measures for the future.

Honorable Sir, we recognize that Nepal is one of the least contributors of greenhouse globally, but as you know, it is also one of the most vulnerable countries to the effects of climate change. We recognize you wish to support your most vulnerable communities and we hope that this missive will serve to help energize governmental response specifically to the climate-related causes and consequences.  

 

While we at Climate Reality highly appreciate your commitment and steps taken towards renewable energy, we request your complete attention and dedication to faster implementation of several of the initiatives to reduce such flooding situations in future. We completely understand that these are not going to easy steps to be implemented and we stand with you in true spirit and commitment.

 

We would ask your consideration to institute urgent action on both mitigation of, and adaptation to, climate change, including:

  • Transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy;
  • Reforestation programs and other natural buffer creation to reduce the future impact of floods;
  • To Prioritize the development of infrastructure for electric vehicles, including charging stations, and also to incentivize import of electric vehicles over internal combustion engine vehicles;
  • Involvement of local community in mitigation and adaptation plans.
  • Education of students nationwide on the impacts and corrective action with respect to climate change.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Phurpa Lama

Country Manager

The Climate Reality Project Nepal