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The empowerment of communities and elected local representatives could play a crucial role in minimising the loss of lives during natural disasters like floods, women rights activist Ranjana Kumari today said.
She said people remain disempowered to make any difference to disaster effects and depend heavily on the government machinery to help them in cases of disasters.
"Gaining an insight into local problems and addressing them systematically requires a dialogue and empowerment of affected communities including their elected representatives," she said while referring to the Indo-Nepal trans-boundary water management project.
The project, undertaken by the Centre for Social Research in collaboration with the Asia Foundation, is managed to contain the loss of lives in selected districts of Nepal and India, Kumari said.
Under the project, 2,600 elected women representatives were trained for pre-flood preparations in March-April this year to face the Kosi River floods.
Each woman trainer further trained 400 other persons on how to be prepared to face the floods and precautions to be taken during the floods.
"Last year, the four districts Sunsari and Saptari (Nepal) and Saharsa and Supaul (Bihar) reported scores of deaths due to floods. This year, no deaths were reported due to pre-flood preparations," she said.
The governments of both India and Nepal need to scale up their efforts and implement a scheme to help local communities in this initiative to further check the losses caused by the floods in the two countries, the activist said.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)