Researchers from the Center of Disaster Management and Risk Reduction Technology (CEDIM) at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and the South Asia Institute (SAI) of Heidelberg University have started a field mission in Nepal on June 6, 2015. During their two-weeks field mission, they want to study the effects of the April 25, 2015 Gorkha earthquake on population displacement with the aim to validate and calibrate methods to identify appropriate open spaces for shelter used in the CEDIM near-real time Forensic Disaster Analysis (FDA) on shelter issues.

According to the Government of Nepal, the April 25 earthquake and aftershocks have damaged or destroyed nearly 631,000 houses and approximately 91,500 people continue to reside in 374 temporary displacement sites across 12 of Nepal’s 14 most-affected districts as of June 2. Throughout Kathmandu Valley as of May 24, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) reported that approximately 21,600 people were sheltering in 64 designated emergency shelter camps. However, whenever possible displaced people in Kathmandu Valley have sought temporary shelter in nearby spaces, close to their homes rather than in designated emergency shelter camps.

During their field mission, the research team will be conducting household surveys in government-provided and self-managed emergency shelter sites to better understand the factors that increase vulnerability to being displaced. Additionally, the team will investigate decision processes of households to shelter in place or to seek public shelters. Furthermore current information needs of displaced households on sheltering options available to them, including modalities for intermediate shelter and future reconstruction is being investigated.

Providing shelter support in advance of the monsoon season remains an urgent response priority. As of June 2, the Shelter Cluster - the coordinating body for humanitarian shelter activities, comprising UN agencies, non-governmental organizations - are targeting 1.9 million people across Nepal to receive shelter support. The research team will therefore travel to rural affected areas to investigate various emergency housing options with the onset of the Monsoon season and explore policies and plans for transitioning displaced populations from temporary shelters to intermediate sheltering and ultimately permanent reconstruction.

During the field mission, the CEDIM research team will collaborate closely with the National Society for Earthquake Technology (NSET) and share knowledge, resources and data related to this field mission.

Field missions after disasters, such as the earthquake in Nepal on April 25th, are a useful component of CEDIM’s approach to analyze disasters and their impact in near-real time.

The Center for Disaster Management and Risk Reduction Technology, CEDIM, is an interdisciplinary research institution of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).