Water, Water Everywhere And Not A Drop To Drink!

The Himalayas are the water towers, not just of South Asia but also, of the world when one counts the ramifications of having so many rivers flowing down from the mountains to the plains.

Aug. 27, 2017, 3:39 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: VOL.11, NO.03,August 25, 2017 (Bhadra 09,2074)

The dreadful ravages of the floods experienced by a third of our fellow citizens torments the thoughts of many more people than myself. So many families have barely got the means as yet to recover after the earthquake in 2015 and it’s quite huge array of aftershocks, when down come the rains in a deluge.

The reports repeat again and again that people were ill prepared. Read government/engineering/departments/relief agencies, but wait a minute!

What happened to all the disaster relief reports and methods of address that a goodly number of experts spent long hours producing for forwarding on to a collection of government departments? Did anyone read them in the last decade? One doesn’t expect the government to go back as far as Noah’s Ark or the Epic of Gilgamesh, but at least the last couple of decades of first-hand work carried out in Nepal should have been of interest to those elected to govern us.

Leave aside the social ills that make children, especially, vulnerable but the geographical and geological hazards should have been handled properly.  So..why weren’t they? Was it lack of money? Never say that. Should those who govern us have the audacity to say they didn’t have enough money, they would merely be challenging we, the people to expose just how much has poured into the national coffers and not been used---or alternatively misused.

In addition, we have cells of disaster preparedness experts, we also have a water-induced hazard cell.it would be interesting to hear what they all have to say about being unprepared. In fact, at the end of this article I will add some web links to documents available to download for free and whoever wants can judge how prepared or unprepared our country was. Read some of them, it costs only time. You might be willing to concede that we have some scholars who could (and have) advise (d) other countries around us.

The Himalayas are the water towers, not just of South Asia but also, of the world when one counts the ramifications of having so many rivers flowing down from the mountains to the plains. Our main artery from Tibet to the Bay of Bengal is the Yarlungsangbo also called the Brahmaputra. For generations it has flowed down from the mountains and into numerous tributaries that both sustain and threaten us. Flooding is one of the great threats of the river systems of South Asia. It always has been and people know it.

Flooding is in their legends, in the design of their village houses and in the platforms upon which they raise their stores of crops and precious belongings. It’s also in their indigenous warning systems and it is probably safe to say that the villagers of Nepal have handled ‘normal run of the mill’ floods generation after generation.

Then, as always governments permit contractors to cut down forests, to mine sand from the river beds and to build dams in unsuitable places: suitable only because they provide hydropower for an influential and politically powerful section of the population. It’s the same all over Nepal; whatever suits the politically powerful has to be tolerated by village dwellers. What happened to community development guided by felt needs?

We often hear that ‘small is beautiful’ but see no evidence of our government following this maxim. Isn’t it time for us to ask why it acts as if bigger is better? Sewage and plastic bags have not only murdered the Bagmati in the Valley, it has been murdered by the sand miners, picked clean to the bone you can say. Is this the river we wish our grandchildren to see? I think it’s obvious that the answer is no. The answer is evident in the numbers of people from all walks of life who show up each Saturday for rehabilitation. One would guess that those who don’t give a hoot only outnumber them!

Indeed why should they when all these years the river has been left to deteriorate and successive governments have looked upon the treatment of the river with a laissez faire attitude. A little further upstream of course and you wonder whether it is the same Bagmati.

What has the treatment of the Bagmati to do with the floods in the south? Well, for one thing it shows the attitude of the authorities to rivers. If they don’t care about the state of the river that provided the location of our capital city, why would they care about the mighty rivers they cannot see?

‘Nepal’ a wise elder once told me ‘is a nation of wonderful generous spirited people who are being badly served by their government’.

Dear governors of the people, ‘democratically’ elected representatives, don’t run away with the idea that he was talking about political figures of the past. He was talking about you! You need to pull up your socks. Government is not a free lunch; it’s darned hard work, or should be if carried out properly.

It’s no use ‘closing the stable door when the horse has bolted’ or showing your faces in distant villages as heroes descending from helicopters. The time has passed at which it would have been useful to find out what could be done. Prevention is better than cure after all!

No of words : 884

As promised,here are linkages to documents about efforts made by researchers over the last few years.

 Flood Hazard in Nepal and New Approach of Risk Reduction

www.publication.hils.org.np/hilspub/index.php/IJLE/article/viewFile/58/12

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by S Dhakal - ‎2014 - ‎Cited by 1 - ‎Related articles

Of all the disasters reported in Nepalfloods are the most devastating in terms of ... The flood has most devastating effect in the Terai of NepalNepal's entire Siwalik .... Department of Water Induced Disaster Prevention. (DWIDP), Kathmandu.

[PDF]Flood Early Warning Systems in Nepal - HimalDoc - ICIMOD

lib.icimod.org/record/29959/files/Flood_EWS.pdf

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This publication is available in electronic form at www.icimod.org/himaldoc ... Nepal is prone to annual floods and landslides leading to disasters. ..... Hydrological Cycle Observing System) project to support disaster prevention and flood ...

Societal impacts and vulnerability to floods in Bangladesh and Nepal ...

www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2212094714000930

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by TH Dewan - ‎2015 - ‎Cited by 16 - ‎Related articles

This paper has analyzed the vulnerability to floods, impacts and the coping strategies in Bangladesh and Nepal and .... The World Risk report published in 2011 shows that Bangladesh and Nepal display a high level of vulnerability due ... Source:http://www.preventionweb.net/english/countries/statistics. ..... Publication No.

[PDF]DP Net Book 2070 final latest 5.FH11 - Nepal Disaster Risk Reduction ...

drrportal.gov.np/uploads/document/163.pdf

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Nepal), established in 1996, initiated the publication of the Nepal Disaster Report in 2009 ... disasters, ranging from the Seti flood of Kaski district in May 2012 to the cold waves in the Terai, .... Department of Water Induced Disaster Prevention.

Publications - Hydrology

www.hydrology.gov.np/new/bull3/index.php/hydrology/other/publication

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This document provides the first comprehensive attempt in Nepal to provide a guide for the establishment of community based early warning systems in flood ...

Missing: prevention

Mitigation, Management and Control of Floods in South Asia Volume One

https://books.google.com.np/books?isbn=9211316677

Five South Asian countries were involved in this effort - Nepal, China, lndia, ... The final volume in the series The documents in Volume N of this publication ... These reports were presented at the second meeting on flood control, held in Delhi ...

The Ganges Water Diversion: Environmental Effects and Implications

https://books.google.com.np/books?isbn=1402027923

M. Monirul Qader Mirza - 2006 - ‎Science

Bangladesh Nepal Task Force on Flood Control: 1990, Report on Flood Mitigation ... A Review of Published Literature, International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) Occasional Paper No. ... IAHS-AISH Publication, No.

Preparing for flood disaster: mapping and assessing hazard in the ...

www.preventionweb.net/go/9295

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This study and flood-hazard mapping of the Ratu Khola watershed in Nepal seeks to ... This publication is a summary of a detailed study on flood-risk and ...

[PDF]Flood Vulnerability through the Eyes of Vulnerable ... - Climate Nepal

www.climatenepal.org.np/main/downloadFile.php?fn...1000132...publication

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Feb 5, 2013 - But there is no research on vulnerability of people to flood under climate ..... disasters that includes flood disaster prevention activities too in all over the country. .... Quality and quick editorial, review and publication processing.

Flood warnings save lives in Nepal | Articles | Knowledge | Zurich ...

https://www.zurich.com › Home › Industry knowledge

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We wanted to learn how flood protection there is working. .... Any information included in this publication, was compiled from sources believed to be reliable. 

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