Better governance is a key to reducing flood risks
By Mandira Singh Shrestha and Arbinda Mishra
Reduced fatalities in South Asia
There has, however, been some progress in South Asia during recent years in coping with disasters.
The fact that countries in South Asia are increasingly seeing relatively fewer people killed by floods may be due to the development of early warning systems (EWS). For instance, over the last decade, a number of early warning systems have been installed in flood-prone areas in Nepal, such as in the Ratu, Riyu, and Kankai watersheds.
Improved governance is a key
The effectiveness of an early warning system depends not only on how good the system is technically in terms of observation, monitoring, and prediction of floods through the use of models. It is equally important to have a good institutional mechanism in place, and ownership at the local level.
Local governments and institutions are central to disaster risk reduction management (DRRM) because they have a greater understanding of the local context, better access to indigenous knowledge, and greater access to at-risk populations.