The Oxford dictionary defines human geography as the branch of geography that deals with how human activities affect or is influenced by earth’s surface.In that respect human geography is an extremely broad field and collection of human geography data is conducted using contrasting philosophical positions such as naturalism and anti-naturalism and realism and idealism. Compounding this complexity is also the full spectrum of ideologies/social theory that drives research in the field of human geography. What social theories do allow is to look at the research question at hand through a particular critical lens.
In Nepal’s case it might be useful to view the research question and methods in a post-modernist view. This allows us to keep in context the rapid changes in ideologies that has driven Nepal in the last fifty years. It also allows us to mix different views and incorporate humanism into our work and be driven by a holistic approach.
Data itself can be viewed in two forms: primary data and secondary data. Secondary data is information that has already been collected and what we need to only do is access the information in order to incorporate it in our research. This makes secondary data cheaper and more easier to collect. It should be noted that though secondary data is easier and quicker to find it might be limited to socio-economic and historical data. The element of geography might have to be added or collected before 2011 will lead to working with projections rather than precise numbers. Several other sources of secondary data will have to be accessed by contacting relevant stakeholders. The most frequently used method for collecting primary human geography is through questionnaire survey however, primary data can also be collected via other methods. For example a field visit can solely consist of observation (look, feel, hear, touch and smell). For example leakages in waste disposal sites can be observed through smell and look. Information collected through primary data is invaluable and is also used as ground truthing or field validation however, primary data is expensive to collect and when it comes to structured questionnaires requires expert surveyors.
2. Disaster in context
It is important to understand that natural disasters came into existence only after natural events interacted with human beings. Thus, the term natural disaster deals solely with the role the physical event plays in relation to humans. However, with the understanding of the connectedness of the world, the constant impact nature has on all human systems (social, political, economic etc.) it is impossible to witness a purely natural event and thus we are focused on the intensity of natural disasters and the mitigation of their impacts on human beings.
Nepal and the people who are connected to the country are constantly