Almost everything is made of local materials, making people the least dependent on outside the world


Disaster Type



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TitleAlmost everything is made of local materials, making people the least dependent on outside the world
Disaster GroupHydrological
Sub CategoryProtect and restore biological resources
Knowledge AttributionLocal people in Gobargada inclusively use locally available materials based on plants in the construction of houses, cowsheds and other essential products. This practice offers a comparative advantage to live in floodplain areas. Such materials are free, easy to repair and transport and do not require a specialist knowledge.
DescriptionThe village is situated in the floodplain area and surrounded by the Koshi River, one of the largest rivers originating from Himalaya, covering the parts of Nepal and Tibet, China and meanders across Gangetic plain areas of Nepal and India. The river shifts randomly and studies have shown that it has shifted more than 133 km from east to west during the last 200 years. The study area lies just 80 km south of Chure Mountain (Chatara) along Nepal-India border. It is an isolated village situated in the river island formed by the two major tributaries (both branches on either side of the river appear to be the same, making it difficult to identify the main stream). There is no bridge and locals have to take a traditional boat to reach the village in all the seasons. The Koshi has been a problematic river due to massive floods during monsoon season that begins in June and ends in September every year. The flood not only inundated the nearby settlements, but also destroyed cropland by excessive siltation and land cutting/erosion. The village lies south of Koshi Barrage, a huge intervention to control floods and soil erosion that the Government of India completed in 1962. However, flooding and land cutting are common problems. People rely on forests for a variety of items including construction of houses and other essential products. Here forest provides more than 98% resources for construction of houses, fences and other essential materials, which mostly come from three species that are abundant in the area.