On 22nd November 2022, the second event of The Bamboo Series organized by the NET consortium ( National Disaster Risk Reduction Centre (NDRC) Nepal, Enterprise for Management, Economic Reform and Gender Equality (EMERGE), and Tangent Waves) was held to discuss on the topic ‘Are businesses prepared for disasters?. The event provided great insights into the challenges faced by businesses during disasters like COVID-19, the response mechanism adopted by them, and the importance of disaster preparedness.
Participants included people from the private sector, Edwin M. Salonga, Country Program Manager,
Asian Disaster Preparedness Center and Michelle Bayhonan from the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF). Shraddha Joshi, Executive Director of A.N.T Holidays Pvt Ltd, a travel agency in Nepal mentioned the need to develop Business Continuity Plan (BCP) for their businesses to manage disasters better. Gajendra Malla, of Village Café, stressed that the Government must address the social safety nets for women workers who are most affected during disasters. He also added that there is an urgent need to train women in disaster management.
Brijendra Rochan Joshi, CEO, of Rooster Logic mentioned the difficulty he faced in paying salaries and adhering to the loan repayment schedule of banks due to COVID-19. He also expressed the need to have access to information on the available resources from Government to mitigate the challenges.
Sanjina Giri, Co-founder of AG Ventures added humour to the discussion saying disasters don’t come ringing bells, therefore all the more reason to disaster prepared. She added that the training on BCP was an eye-opener that provided in-depth knowledge and experience on the importance of planning in business.
Anisha Karn, CEO, SmartPaani added that many SMEs do not benefit from the various support mechanisms that exist to mitigate disasters. She also highlighted how businesses are inadequately resourced to manage disasters themselves.
The key takeaway from the second session of The Bamboo Series was the need to have BCPs to make businesses disaster resilient.