Situation Analysis on Floods and Flood Management

by Eklavya Prasad and Nandan Mukherjee

(as part of the Ecosystems for Life: A Bangladesh-India Initiative)
Published by: IUCN Asia Regional Office; IUCN Bangladesh Country Office; IUCN India Country Office; IUCN Gland, Switzerland

The document

Of Recurring Floods and Breaching Embankments

By: Nidhi Jamwal

Embankments are meant to control floods and save lives. However, non-participatory, unscientific and impetuous construction of such structures along the rivers of North Bihar has accentuated the flood woes. Not only have these engineering solutions changed the nature of floods and the relationship of villagers with their rivers, they have also induced floods in areas that had never experienced extreme deluge before.

Every year embankments breach at several locations, leading to floods in previously flood-free zones. This has lead to a huge damage to the fertile agricultural land in the state. The Government of Bihar has responded in a unique way. In 2011, it announced the construction of more embankments 1,600 km in the next five years. However, there is no comprehensive and cumulative assessment of the existing embankments meandering through North Bihar, which is one of the most flood-prone areas of India.

Read on to know more…..

…the flood control mechanism of constructing embankments is responsible for transforming the relationship between people and floods in North Bihar from a way of life to an assured annual devastation.

Hit by both floods and droughts, North Bihar today is almost a case study in how not to manage your rivers. Eklavya Prasad, managing trustee of Megh Pyne Abhiyan, works among the local communities that are adversely impacted by short-term and short-sighted flood control measures like embankments. His mission-to discover an effective, eco-savvy paradigm of river management based on local knowledge, with the participation of these people. Prasad talks to ECO about the recurring floods, breaching embankments and way forward in North Bihar.
The interview…