Nepal Centre for Disaster Management (NCDM) was established in February 2002 with an aim to help effectively mitigate the impact of disasters in the country. The Centre is registered in the Kathmandu Distric Administration Office, Government of Nepal. NCDM is also registered under the Social Welfare Council, Nepal.
Nepal is located in a geographic region prone to natural disasters. Loss of lives and property are a regular phenomenon, and the number of such events is on the rise due to natural as well as man-made causes. Among the main reasons of natural disasters in Nepal are active tectonic and geomorphic processes, young and fragile geology, variable climatic conditions, unplanned settlement, increasing population, weak economic condition and low literacy rate. Nepal is therefore geologically found to be vulnerable to various types of natural disasters such as flood, landslide, fire, epidemic, earthquake, avalanche, windstorm, hailstorm, lightning, Glacial Lake Outburst Flood (GLOF), drought etc. A GLOF in Nepal can also be even more dangerous than the tsunamis faced by sea-faring countries due to its downwards-movement through gravity.
Apart from the above reasons, lack of good governance practices and public awareness contribute significantly to this problem. Among the most devastating natural disasters experienced by the country are the earthquakes of 1833, 1934, 1980, 1988 and the flood of July 1993, which not only caused heavy loss of human lives and property but also adversely affected the development process of the country as a whole. In the year 2003 alone, 232 people lost their lives to landslide and flood. Historically, it has been observed that there is significantly dangerous seismic activity every seventy to hundred years in Nepal.
Disasters often have significant impact on social, economic, cultural and environmental systems. Thus, there is an urgent need to redress the proactive policies related to natural disasters, with emphasis on preparedness, rescue, relief management, and rehabilitation. Natural disasters cannot be prevented, but their effect can certainly be greatly minimized if there is a right amount of preparedness, and it is for that reason that the Nepal Centre for Disaster Management exists today.
NCDM firmly believes that helping to empower the people and enhancing the capacity of the local communities in disaster preparedness and management by way of training and increased awareness is the most effective means to mitigate the effects of natural disaster in the country.