Call for concerted efforts to end South Asia’s flood woes

Kathmandu, July 31:

Regional cooperation must be forged to resolve flood and inundation problems in South Asian countries, experts said today.

“Watershed and riverine resources on the Ganges-Brahmaputra Basin should be conserved to cope with these problems,” said Naveen M Joshi, project director of the Community Managed Irrigated Agriculture Sector Project (CMIASP), at a programme held in the Department of Irrigation.

He was presenting Nepal’s country report on regional cooperation for flood disaster mitigation in the Ganges and the Bramhaputra river basins in South Asia.

Joshi said an integrated flood management approach within the framework of Integrated Water Resources Management should be adopted with a view to maximising the efficient use of flood plains and minimising the loss of livelihood. “Regional river basins are integrated systems and they should be managed keeping in view regional problems,” he added.

Inter-basin multipurpose projects, which transfer excess water to water-scarce basins, could be executed to mitigate floods, he said.

In Nepal, two inter-basins multipurpose — Sunkoshi-Kamala Diversion Multipurpose Project and Bheri-Babai Diversion Multipurpose Project — have been identified.

In addition, he said that flood control benefits can also be achieved by a storage project either because it is operated keeping a portion of the live storage specifically dedicated to control purposes, or because of the natural routing effect of the reservoir on the incoming floods, which naturally reduces the flood peaks downstream even without adopting specific reservoir operation.

The report was prepared by Shrestha and Prakash Man Shrestha.