Supporting earthquake-affected communities through radio in Nepal

This research briefing shows how the BBC Media Action team in Nepal produced radio programmes to support Nepali communities affected by the 2015 earthquake, and encouraged people to build homes that were more resistant to earthquakes.


Publication date: August 2019

Author: Sanjib Saha

The 7.6 magnitude earthquake that struck Nepal in April 2015 was the most powerful quake to hit the country in over 80 years. Eight million people, almost one-third of the population, were affected by the earthquake and its aftershocks, which destroyed more than 600,000 homes and damaged more than 288,000 in 14 severely-affected districts.

Four years on, those affected are still recovering from the impact on their families, homes, livelihoods and communities. Fewer than half of the houses identified as eligible for reconstruction and retrofitting grants by the National Reconstruction Authority have been reconstructed, renovated or retrofitted. Barriers include cost, a complex grant system, and lack of familiarity with earthquake-resistant rebuilding practices.

Media and communication can play a key role in this reconstruction process – and in disaster risk reduction strategies in general – by increasing people’s understanding of risk, strengthening disaster risk governance, and enhancing disaster preparedness (in this case supporting reconstruction) – all of which are priority areas for action under the Sendai Framework.

This research briefing provides insights from an evaluative survey conducted in 14 severely-affected districts in autumn 2018 to assess the impact of two BBC Media Action programmes - Milijuli Nepali and KathaMaala - on affected communities.