Pathways to raising disaster risk reduction awareness among the informal construction stakeholders: a case of Nepal

Nepal is a low-income country where the majority of people live in chronic poverty, with vulnerabilities exacerbated by various natural hazards (in particular earthquakes). Whilst Nepal has implemented comprehensive building codes and a Building Act, a major challenge exists as both the existing building stock is refurbished and the new stock is continuously added by the informal construction sector, without adherence to any building standards and codes. Such informal construction leaves urban areas highly vulnerable and with little resilience to any disaster. This situation is not unique to Nepal’s urban areas, as rapid urbanisation in many developing countries has similarly led to a boom in informal construction sectors and construction that has little regard for building codes and regulations. Based on a case study of Banepa’s 11 wards, this paper will discuss the informal construction stakeholders’ awareness of disaster risk reduction measures, and provide an overview of existing initiatives to engage the informal construction sector in appreciating the importance of hazard-resilient buildings.