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Urgent Case for Recovery: What We Can Learn From the August 2014 Karnali River Floods in Nepal

Authors: Karen MacClune, Kanmani Venkateswaran, ISET-International; Kanchan Mani Dixit, Shobha Yadav, Rajani Maharjan, ISET-Nepal; Sumit Dugar, Practical Action Nepal.

This post event review examines two rivers and two districts in the area affected by the Karnali Floods of August 2014—the Karnali and Babai Rivers in Kailali and Bardiya districts. Focusing on the disaster management landscape as a whole, including disaster risk reduction, preparedness, response and recovery, we evaluate the flood events, impacts, response and recovery to understand what happened, what could have been done differently, opportunities for action, and identify opportunities for improving flood risk and disaster management as a whole in Nepal.


It must be noted that the Karnali Basin is more advanced than most regions in Nepal in terms of its disaster preparedness. Substantial NGO intervention in the basin has included setting up early warning systems (EWS), community disaster management committees (CDMCs) and other formal disaster preparedness structures; these exist in combination here but not necessarily elsewhere in Nepal. It is likely that a similar flood elsewhere in the country might have had a different and potentially more severe impact.

See also: Zurich resource page


MacClune, K., Venkateswaran, K., Dixit. K. M., Yadav, S., Maharjan, R., Dugar, S. (2015). Urgent case for recovery: what we can learn from the August 2014 Karnali River floods in Nepal. Zurich, Switzerland: Zurich Insurance Company Ltd.

Funded By


Zurich Insurance Company Ltd

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