Being prepared for, and recovering quickly from, any catastrophe is one hallmark of ensuring a more safe and resilient society. But in many catastrophe-prone communities around the globe, insurance penetration rates remain stiflingly low and, as a result, building codes are either non-existent, or inconsistently enforced. In Nepal for example, almost 90 percent of the population is without insurance, and both mitigation and recovery efforts after their devastating earthquake in April 2015 are still scaling slowly.
Social enterprises such as Build Change, who work on the ground in countries like Nepal, Columbia, and Haiti, are engaging with various stakeholders across governments, NGOs and even individual homeowners to institute building codes and train local construction sectors in attainable and safe building practices. RMS is proud to partner with Build Change by providing grants to jump start and enhance its country programs and allowing the organization to use our products for free in order to better quantify the risk landscape of the countries in which they operate.
It is an exciting time as RMS also partners with Build Change for our annual Impact Trek. This is our fourth annual trek, the first saw our team in Haiti, and for the past two years we have sent teams to Nepal. The video below shows the Impact Trek team in Nepal during 2016.
We return to Nepal this year; both RMS employees and our clients representing major insurance and reinsurance firms will be flying out to Kathmandu on March 17 for a 10-day trek in Nepal, working alongside Build Change to bridge the gap in coverage by building resilience in communities that are most vulnerable to catastrophe.
A team of eight Impact Trekkers will share their expertise with local stakeholders, working to bring greater efficiency to reconstruction practices, and help to ensure that standards for “building back better” are effective and scalable. One Impact Trekker was so inspired by the work that Build Change was doing in Nepal, that he has now gone on to take a four-month sabbatical in the country. Alastair Norris has blogged about his experiences, working on several projects to help Build Change in their efforts to scale reconstruction, and exploring this dynamic country.
The RMS Impact Trek shows what is possible when the private sector and public partners come together to create shared value for vulnerable communities by exploring solutions to bring synergies and resilience capacity-building to the forefront of our market. RMS remains focused on creating tools to help ensure that those who are struck by catastrophe can recover quickly and completely, as we help the market better measure and understand their risk both pre and post event.
From previous Impact Treks, we know that the experience will inspire our trekkers to think about new solutions, explore new potential partnerships and spread the word about the on the ground realities of rebuilding after a disaster.