Effective disaster management programmes are one of the most widely used tools in North America and worldwide to help reduce environmental, economic and public safety risks that can occur as a result of an uncontrolled reservoir release. While efforts by the Government of Nepal and other organizations are being made to improve disaster management capabilities, the nation currently has a relatively weak dam safety management programme with no national dam safety regulations or mandatory requirements for effective
emergency management. This paper discusses how dam incidents and failures around the world have changed the regulatory landscape, emphasizing the need for robust dam safety programmes including sound emergency management programmes for dams. It explores why effective emergency management programmes become even more relevant and critical in mountainous countries such as Nepal, and discusses how emergency management best practices, implemented from the ground up to engage local stakeholders, represent an essential and cost-effective first step in enhancing public safety.
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