Natural Hazards

, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 155–179

Floods and Vulnerability: Need to Rethink Flood Management

  • Ajaya Dixit

DOI: 10.1023/A:1021134218121

Cite this article as:
Dixit, A. Natural Hazards (2003) 28: 155. doi:10.1023/A:1021134218121


Responses to flooding in the Himalaya-Ganga region have conventionally beensought under the hierarchic mode using the strategy of control. Because it has notgiven due consideration to diverse contexts of the region and thereby the specificapproaches that such context necessitate, the particular approach has not broughtabout security from flooding. Three responses are seen in the terrain of flooddisaster. These are the hierarchic manager, individualistic innovator and theegalitarian social activist. The hierarchies define control as the solution to theproblems of flood: this is the approach preferred by state agencies. At theindividualistic level the sought strategy is flexibility to cope with the situation.The response by social activists is guided by egalitarian critiques of the hierarchicapproach. Each pursues his/her own styles and continuously contests the policyterrain. This paper reviews the nature of flood disaster in the Himalaya-Gangaby focussing on plains Nepal. It argues that conventional approach has not beenable to provide the security envisaged. The paper suggests that vulnerability ofpeople in risk-prone areas must be addressed by enhancing resilience capacity.For this to happen the approach must be pluralistic that gives space to eachmanagement style with varying obligations at varying scales.

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ajaya Dixit
    • 1
  1. 1.Nepal Water Conservation Foundation (NWCF)KathmanduNepal E-mail

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