Open Access Article

Title: Are preventive and coping measures enough to avoid loss and damage from flooding in Udayapur district, Nepal?

Authors: Kenneth Bauer

Addresses: Dartmouth College, 302 Carpenter Hall, Hanover, NH 03755, USA

Abstract: This case study examines household vulnerability and responses in relation to flooding in Udayapur district, Nepal. It describes how communities in this region deal with flooding and asks to what extent their preventive, coping, and adaptation measures have been successful in avoiding loss and damage. A 300-household survey, along with open interviews and focus group discussions, revealed a wide range of strategies that families adopt in relation to flooding. In situ measures - such as the construction of sand embankments, stonewalls, and bamboo fences - are frequently used measures to control floods and prevent impacts. The most common coping strategies in Udayapur district are outmigration for labour and reliance on non-food income, social networks, and external support. The results show that despite high adoption rates, for a majority of the households, preventive and adaptation measures are often not enough to avoid loss and damage.

Keywords: household loss; household damage; flood prevention; coping strategies; adaptation; climate stressors; climate change; flooding; livelihoods; Nepal; vulnerability; preventive measures.

DOI: 10.1504/IJGW.2013.057292

International Journal of Global Warming, 2013 Vol.5 No.4, pp.433 - 451

Received: 04 May 2013
Accepted: 24 Sep 2013

Published online: 22 Oct 2013 *