Rich water, poor people: Potential for transboundary flood management between Nepal and India

Gupta et. al., 2021

There has been an increase in the frequency and intensity of floods in the region straddling Nepal and northern Bihar. Stricken by acute poverty despite being rich in water resources, frequent floods, and shared vulnerabilities across borders, is a grave concern for the communities in the region. This hazard adversely impacts the lives and livelihoods of millions of people especially the poor and marginalised who draw their livelihood from the immediate environment. Hence, there is potential for bringing about positive impacts on the wellbeing of the dependent communities through sustainable actions at a transboundary scale. This paper focusses on the flood-related, transboundary challenges in the Koshi and Gandak river basins. It stresses that the floods have strong upstream-downstream linkages therefore, their management demands joint action at various levels of governance. Transboundary cooperation is essential for developing a relationship of trust and a common understanding to work towards managing floods, especially in downstream areas of Nepal and India. Potential actions for transboundary flood management between Nepal and India are recommended in this paper to enhance the resilience of communities and river basins.