Training Rivers, Training People: Interrogating the Making of Disasters and the Politics of Response in Nepal’s Lower Karnali River Basin

The island of Rajapur is a place literally made by floods, created as the Karnali River drops sediment from the Himalayan foothills just a few kilometers north of the Nepal-India border. As the river loses momentum, it splits to form a large inland delta riddled with wandering channels and sandbars. Changeable landscapes like this are naturally prone to flooding, but the floods here are not just natural disasters: they have become increasingly more devastating as government policies and development patterns have pushed indigenous communities from their land into more vulnerable areas.

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Impact of sediment dynamics on flood risk in the Karnali River basin

In this blog post, Dr. Dilip Gautam (Senior DRR Consultant – PAC) considers sediment and flooding dynamics within the Karnali basin. In most of the current flood risk management practices, the role of sediment dynamics is not dealt with sufficiently. Sedimentation of river channel and floodplain has serious impacts on aggravating flood risks in alluvial river system. This blog focuses on the relationship of sediment dynamics and flood risks in Karnali River basin of Nepal. The idea is to integrate sediment dynamics in flood forecast modelling and follow comprehensive approach on flood risk management with due consideration on control of erosion and sedimentation.

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