Reducing risks from Landslides and Flash Floods
Most predictions of climate change in the Himalayas point toward more precipitation north of the Himalayan crest, as well as more frequent extreme events, flooding events, drought and landslides. Large and small hazard events are already a main cause of mortality – second only to epidemics – for mountain populations in Nepal and a major impediment to rural development. Due to the dispersed nature of mountain hazards, especially landslides and flash floods, little attention has yet been given to reducing such risks. Adding to the problem is the construction of poorly designed roads that are susceptible to cause landslides.
In Nepal, EPIC is contributing to research on bio-engineering techniques establishing demonstration sites for reducing landslide instabilities along road sides using ecosystem-based, locally adapted bio-engineering methods creating “eco-safe” roads. Communities are involved in the establishment and maintenance of bio-engineering sites which contributes to community awareness. Efforts are also in place to mainstream ecosystem-based approaches in policies related to road construction, land management (Integrated Watershed Management) and disaster risk reduction.
The manual provides guidance to communities and local government agencies on the occurrence, assessment and mitigation of road construction-induced landslides and erosion.