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Nepal flood 2017: wake up call for effective preparedness and response
This Post-Event Review Capability (PERC) report discusses the overall disaster management landscape, i.e. disaster risk reduction, preparedness, response, and recovery during the 2017 floods in Nepal. Focusing on the four river basins – Karnali, Babai, West Rapti, and Kankai – an effort is made to critically examine the flood event and impacts together with response and recovery measures undertaken by government and various other agencies in flood-affected areas of these rivers. Comparing the 2017 flood effects and impacts with previous flood response in the region, this review tries to identify the most useful lessons to take forward, and what could now be done differently to lessen the risks of future floods.
Flooding is not new to the Terai districts of Nepal. Every year, the monsoon floods have caused significant damage and loss to human lives and livelihoods within these southern flood plains. Yet each time the rescue and relief operations seem slow and insufficient and the government comes under fire for not responding quickly enough. A critical review – that is, reflecting and building on lessons from past flood events along with institutional memory – is seriously lacking, particularly across the government entities. Identifying lessons and learnings from past events is critical in order to recognize the simple lapses that can be avoided and solutions that can immediately be put into effect.