October Analysis: National Security and Climate Change

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The death toll from unseasonal rain and landslide reached 101 while 41 people are still
missing. The erratic rain also caused damage to ready-to-harvest crops which amounted to
around NRS 8.26 billion. The department of Water and Meteorology forecasted the rain, but the
information did not reach the farmers. Similarly, due to the instances of increased illegal
immigration to Nepal, Ministry of Home Affairs has urged the immigration department to tighten
security and increase micro-surveillance in the border. Similarly, a clash between police
personnel and land squatters in Motipur Industrial area has left four people dead. The dispute which started in 2016 when government acquired the land to construct an industrial zone, shed
light on the issue of development and displacement.

Timeline of Major Events

DateEvents
October 2Misleading social media posts pose new threats to election security
October 2Telemedicine opted as an alternative to treat Dengue when the hospitals close due to Dashain
October 8Floods, landslides affecting severely in many districts
October 8Dashain travels disrupted because of the sudden unseasonal rain
October 8Nepal’s medicinal plants threatened by the Climate change
October 18300000 security personnel said to be mobilized in the Nov 20 Nepal elections
October 21Nepal’s major priority for COP27: Climate Adaptation and Seeking funding for the losses incurred in Climate induced disasters
October 21Concerns are raised in Nepal after the newly discovered Omicron sub-variants in India.
October 2146,413 cases of Dengue reported since July-August 2022

Nepal’s major priority for COP27: Climate Adaptation and Seeking Funding for the Losses Incurred in Climate Induced Disasters

This year, the Minister of Women, Children and Senior Citizens, Ms. Uma Regmi is said to be representing Nepal at the 27th Conference of the Parties (COP27) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Nepal plans to stress on the country’s sensitive geography and urge to focus on the impact on the ecosystem in the Himalayan regions. Although the region has prepared local adaptation plans and practical measures, the climate impacts are overwhelming.

Similarly, Nepal seeks to urge the developed countries to reduce the level of carbon emissions to maintain global temperature rise within 1.5 degree centigrade. Nepal will be pointing out the issue of gap in financing to cover up the losses caused by climate change induced disasters and demand appropriate compensation for the losses. This is also a major concern for other climate vulnerable countries as the financial assistance required for recovery from disasters are highly inadequate.

Nepal Elections 2022- Steps for Better Security Implementation

Nepal Army and Nepal Police are assigned for election security. Nepal Army will handle the responsibilities of the transportation and security of ballot boxes along with other weaponries. The Armed Police forces have been mobilized in all the 77 districts and are responsible for booth security. The Ministry of Home Affairs has planned to mobilize 300,000 security officers. The government is prepared to deploy 71,000 soldiers from the Nepal Army, 71,693 officers from the Nepal Police, 35,000 officers from the Armed Police Force, 115,000 officers from Myadi Police, and the remaining officers from the National Investigation Department.

Security concerns on election may arise due to the spread of misinformation that may circulate on social media. For this issue, the Ministry of Home Affairs has informed the security agencies to initiate an integrated security plan. The agency will look after banning or controlling the accounts that spread wrong information or any cyber-crimes. The election security might be at risk due to the possibility of conflict arising by the candidates who were denied the tickets.

The budget is allocated accordingly for the elections for the respective officials to ensure that they are well equipped with the weaponry, vehicles, manpower, and resources to tackle any challenges. Of the overall budget, the Nepal Police will receive Rs. 1.235 billion, while the temporary police force known as Myadi will receive Rs. 5.86 billion to be hired for the elections.

Dengue Outbreak Gets out of Control

This year, the unseasonal rain disrupted the festivities and also contributed to a more rapid spread of Dengue. According to the data up to 28 October, 46,413 cases of Dengue has been reported since July-August. The infected patients were concerned about the possibility of not receiving the necessary medical care during Dashain due to medical staff holidays. Lack of hospital beds and lack of blood in blood banks further intensified the impact of the Dengue outbreak.

It is disappointing seeing the lethargic approach by the government in controlling the spread of dengue. There seems to be a lack of coordination and effective collaboration amongst the institutions when it comes to handling medical emergencies.

Unusual Rain, Natural Calamities and its Impacts

Unseasonal rainfall ruins thousands of hectares of Paddy. Photo: RSS

In October this year, Nepal suffered from unusually heavy rains that caused widespread floods and landslides. Farmers suffered a great loss as a result of prolonged monsoon ruining thousands of hectares of paddy that were ready for harvest but were submerged in water. These natural calamities have severe effects in the long run; firstly, the production of the country’s grains will reduce if there are not enough harvests which will result in Nepal being forced to import rice from other countries. Similarly, many houses and other infrastructures have been destroyed resulting in the citizens to opt for temporary shelters. People without access to clean water and sanitary facilities are more likely to contract water-borne infections during times of crisis. As this weather pattern was unpredictive, the government officials had little to no disaster preparedness and relief initiatives.

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