Floods and Vulnerability: Need to Rethink Flood Management

  • Ajaya Dixit


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


Debris Flow Natural Hazard Flood Disaster Flood Mitigation Mass Wasting 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2003

Authors and Affiliations

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

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