The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $40 million concessional loan and a $10 million project grant to help manage and mitigate flooding in Nepal’s Terai region.
“It is important to curb flooding effects and damage in the Terai region as it is Nepal’s largest producer of agriculture produce and accounts for more than half of the country’s cultivable land,” said ADB Water Resources Specialist for South Asia Suzanne Marsh. “The project will improve the resilience of communities and protect agricultural land and property.”
The project will focus on flood risk management in six priority river basins of the Terai region, which are the locations of major floods in the past two decades. The Priority River Basins Flood Risk Management Project supports the Government of Nepal’s National Water Plan, 2002–2027, in reducing personal, social, and economic losses from water-induced disasters by blending structural and nonstructural measures.
The project will construct flood control infrastructures such as embankments, spurs, and outlet structures. It will improve flood forecasting and response systems through the installation of rain gauges and hydrometeorological stations and the development of flood forecasting early warning systems. About 48 flood shelters will be constructed, integrating gender-responsive features. The construction works are expected to generate employment for affected households, including indigenous peoples and women.
To improve flood risk management and infrastructure planning, the project will strengthen the organizational capacity of the Department of Water Resources and Irrigation, Department of Hydrology and Meteorology, as well as local governments. It will also develop the capacity and awareness of local communities in disaster preparedness and planning.
The Water Financing Partnership Facility has supported the project through a $750,000 grant for project implementation from the Netherlands Trust Fund and a $225,000 grant for project preparation from the Multidonor Trust Fund (with contribution from the governments of Australia, Austria, Spain, and Switzerland).