Dutch government must insist on evacuation of Nepal’s unstable regions

12 June 2015

Dutch government must insist on evacuation of Nepal’s unstable regions

Nepal has recently been hit by powerful earthquakes which have claimed many thousands of victims. The approaching rainy season will make the risk of landslides so great that people must be rapidly rehoused. Commenting on the situation, SP Member of Parliament Eric Smaling argues that ‘people living in unstable regions in Nepal must be evacuated as quickly as possible to areas where there is less danger. Dutch Development Minister Lilianne  Ploumen must join the government of Nepal and the international community in working hard for this.’ 

'The hilly country between the Himalaya in the north and the rice-growing areas in the south is extremely vulnerable and dangerous during the rainy season because the topsoil on the very steep slopes can saturate and this can lead to soil avalanches and mudslides. So what’s needed are preparations in order to avoid a large number of victims.’ says Smaling.

He adds that he hopes that his call doesn’t fall on deaf ears. ‘In common with the SP, Lilianne Ploumen wants to see more emphasis on prevention in emergency aid policy,’ Smaling notes. ‘Prevention is easier than cure. Now is the chance via international channels to aid Nepal with the evacuation of people out of the most unstable regions. Experts should as quickly as possible indicate the hilly areas under the greatest threat and ensure that they are moved to better housing.’

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