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Category : Safety and Security

  • Asia Dialogue - Looking for the Weakest Link in Kathmandu

    Looking for the Weakest Link in Kathmandu

    Sarah Rooney and Nayan Pokhrel (Fixer)

    Laxman looks at a building in Kathmandu, Nepal, he isn’t concerned with the aesthetic proportions or the comfort it provides to its inhabitants; he is looking for weakness. He examines the walls to assess the quality of concrete or brickwork. He measures up load-bearing beams and columns to gauge their strength. He searches for cracks, patches of damp, or signs of subsidence. Ultimately, he is looking to see if the building will withstand a major earthquake. READ MORE

  • Asia Dialogue - Putting People Back Together Again

    Putting People Back Together Again

    Sarah Rooney and Nayan Pokhrel (Fixer)

    Dr. Rohendra is excited about his brand new orthopedic wing. “The orthopedic department will have its own dedicated operating theatre,” he says with relief. “Until now, we have been sharing the hospital’s main operating theatre and have had to schedule all our surgeries on a single day each week.” READ MORE

  • Asia Dialogue - The Many Hazards of Driving a Rickshaw in Nepal

    The Many Hazards of Driving a Rickshaw in Nepal

    Sarah Rooney and Nayan Pokhrel (Fixer)

    “When I saw other women driving tempos I thought to myself, surely I can do this too,” says Shanti, a 25-year-old Nepali tempo driver [tuk-tuks are more commonly referred to as “tempos” in Nepal]. “Truth is, it was pretty difficult to begin with. I had an accident on my first day and injured a pedestrian. Because I didn’t want my boss to know about it, I settled the damages myself. But I stuck with it, and actually became a pretty good driver…” READ MORE

  • Asia Dialogue - The Grosvenor ranking of urban resilience

    The Grosvenor ranking of urban resilience

    Rowan Fraser

    Finally!  I’ve been waiting for this to happen for a while now and I must say its good to see it’s been done: a global ranking of the resilience of cities.

    There are indices quantifying and ranking cities for numerous other things: quality of life, attractiveness to tourists, air quality, sustainability and economic strength, to name but a few.   But until mid-April there was no ranking of urban resilience, despite mounting attention to the issue and increasingly vocal calls to tackle urban vulnerability.

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  • Asia Dialogue - Revision needed of stereotypes about women and climate change

    Revision needed of stereotypes about women and climate change

    Rowan Fraser

    ‘The problem with stereotypes,’ said novelist Chimamanda Adichie in a powerful TED talk, ‘is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete.’  This incompleteness is dangerous, according to Adichie, because it leads to one-sided views which deny complex realities.

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  • Asia Dialogue - Negotiating rights in the Indian city: Voices from women across the class barrier

    Negotiating rights in the Indian city: Voices from women across the class barrier

    Mukta Naik

    Urban women in India, regardless of class, face considerable danger and discrimination. Two urban women—Shruti, who is privileged, educated and well-employed and Sarita who is far less educated, informally employed, and struggling to live decently—share with Mukta Naik their awareness about rights and their candid experiences of negotiating with the government to access these. READ MORE

  • Asia Dialogue - Natural hazards are dangerous.  But city-level corruption causes more disaster

    Natural hazards are dangerous. But city-level corruption causes more disaster

    Rowan Fraser

    Oddly for such a staunchly secular activity, the insurance industry includes within its standard glossaries the term ‘Act of God.’  This is legalese for events which are considered to be beyond human control, such as floods and earthquakes, cyclones and landslides – disasters, in short. READ MORE

  • Asia Dialogue - What mangroves can and can not do for cyclone-prone coastal cities

    What mangroves can and can not do for cyclone-prone coastal cities

    Rowan Fraser

    Swampy, tangled and low-lying, the mangrove is not a particularly flamboyant tree, as far as trees go. Indeed, it’s more of a shrub.  Somehow, it comes across as down-trodden and slightly oppressed.  It lacks the gusto and charm of most other species, and of course can’t compete with the big cats, rhinos or birds for panache in terms of biodiversity.  Nonetheless, over the past few years, the humble mangrove has seen its popularity soar. READ MORE

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