Field report


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Field report

  1. 1. KOSHI TRANSECT WALK FIELD REPORT Ajay Chandra Lal Facilitator, climate induced disaster TWG Practical Action, Nepal Background Nepal is predominantly a mountainous country situated in the central part of the Himalayas between 26022’ and 30027’ N latitudes and 80004’ and 88012’ E longitudes, covering an area of 147,181 sq. km and divided broadly into three topographic regions, viz Himalayas (High Mountains), Hill the Tarai plains. The country experiences a wide range of climatic variations from the sub- tropical to the Alpine type as the elevation varies from 67 meters (m) above sea level to 8,848 m (world’s highest mountain peak, Mt Everest) within a span of aboutj 200 km. It also experiences heavy rains during monsoon season (June to September) due to the south-westerly wind from bay of Bengal, which accounts for 80% of the total rainfall. The average annual rainfall of the country is about 1,530 millimeters (mm). But there are sharp spatial and temporal variations in rainfall. The character and pattern of rainfall varies drastically both north south and east west. The intensity of rainfall is more intense in east than west; however individual event may not follow the trend resulting into drought or flood. The minimal variation in climate can result into unaccounted types and degrees of catastrophe to the people, bio diversity and other components of our living environment. The previous study has shown that Nepal is the 6th most vulnerable country in the world due to climate change mainly by virtue of its locations in young Himalayas with more than 6000 rivers. In no way, Nepal can be out of the consequences of climate change. Therefore, it is utmost important to develop appropriate coping mechanisms and adaptations. In this background, National Action Programme of Actions (NAPA) is being prepared with the support of LDCF. NAPA is pre requisite to avail the fund from GEF to finance the capacity building programmes at community as well as at national level. Transect Survey Approach: This approach stratifies the study area or object in different group as per its homogeneous characteristics. For the climate change study, Nepal has been divided into three transect as per macro hydro basin concept ie Karnali basin, Gandaki Basin and Koshi Basin. For further better representation, each basin has been stratified into three sub transect as per the topography and land form ie Terai, Hill and Mountain. This approach is used basically to study whole area within given timeframe and resources without affecting the outcome of the study. This technique has been used to study the implications of climate change at local level along with the coping mechanisms and adaptations adopted by local people. This study also outlines the local know how and experiences about the climate change, its impact on livelihood and response of the people towards the impacts. I was part of an eighteen member study team in Koshi Transect. This transect represents the area within the Koshi basin. The filed study started at Biratnagar sub metropolitan city in the Terai with regional level shared learning dialogue (SLD). The field study then covered Dhankutta in hill, Khandbari in mountain regions. I basically worked as facilitator for climate induced disaster, one of the six thematic working groups. The study team concentrated its focus on six themes namely  Agriculture and food security
  2. 2.  Forest and bio diversity  Water and energy  Climate induced disasters  Urban settlements and  Health The study team was a multidisciplinary team represented by various experts and facilitators representing different institutions ie, United Nations, national planning commission, ministries, departments, INGOs, NGOs, Civil Societies. Each member was associated with one of the thematic working group mentioned above. The team was led my Dr Deepak Rijal and Dr Ram Pukar Thakur and logistics were managed by Mr Ram Prasad Acharya, Practical solution Nepal. Methods Used: The study team adopted shared learning dialogue (SLD) workshop technique in collecting information at district and regional level while observation, focus group discussion and consultation techniques were used at community and village level to gather the required information. At the end of the field visit a wrap up meeting was carried out in Biratnagar where every thematic group presented their findings. The following activities were carried out during the field vist In Terai A regional level SLD was organized at Biratnagar where more that 75 personnel representing various government, non government and academic institutions were present. Civil societies, media personnel, police, students and indigenous groups were also present in the meeting. After presentation of Mr Ajay Dixit and Dr Deepak Rijal on “climate change scenario of Nepal and potential impacts on agriculture sector”, the whole group was divided into six thematic groups facilitated by respective facilitator. The experiences were then presented. The visiting group was divided into three groups to visit three communities namely Kushha and chakarghatti in Sunsari and Lakhanpur in Jhapa district. Focus group discussions were organized at each location. I visited the local community in Kushha and then nearby Koshi Tappu wild life office. In Hill A focus group discussion was arranged in Danda Bazar of Dhakutta district. All the six thematic groups discussed the climate change, its implications and local level experiences of people towards coping and adaptation measures. Then a district level shared learning dialogue (SLD) was organized in Dhankutta where more than 50 people from different sections ie GO, NGO, INGO, Municipality, Media, School etc participated. Dr Rijal presented the climate change scenario and it probable impacts on livelihood of people. The participants were divided into 6 thematic groups and each group after discussion presented their views on climate change, its indicators, coping and adaptation mechanisms prevalent in the area. In Mountain A district level shared learning dialogue (SLD) was organized in Khandbari, district headquarter of Sankhuwasabha district where more than 60 people from different sections ie GO, NGO, INGO,
  3. 3. Municipality, Media, School etc participated. Dr Rijal presented the climate change scenario and it probable impacts on livelihood of people. Facilitators of each group presented their views and their needs. The participants were divided into 6 thematic groups and each group after discussion presented their views on climate change, its indicators, coping and adaptation mechanisms prevalent in the area. Findings (Climate induced disasters) The group discussion, consultation and shared learning dialogue with stakeholders came out with general as well as specific findings at local level. The communities at various places expressed their experiences regarding the increasing temperature, changing bio diversity and their concern in livelihood. The following findings have been withdrawn from these discussion. General Findings  Temperature has increased  Reduced production or Loss in traditional crops  Increased events of disasters  Mosquitoes are seen even in mountain region  Increased cases of diseases in crops and vegetables in Terai  Change in timings for flowering (Laligurans) and fruits (citrus) in Mountain region  Shift of habitat of fauna like Urna towards north in Koshi Tappu  Increased cases of skin diseases  Change in pattern and characteristics of rainfall (increased event of cloud burst, localized rainfall)  Depletion in ground water level in Terai Specific Findings Terai Major disasters: Flood, flash food, thunder storm, drought, hot wave and cold wave, fire Issues:  Increased magnitude of flood, Soil Erosion and land degradation  Changing frequency, time and characteristics of flood  Increased magnitude and frequency of Storm and hailstorm  Increased Unpredictability in climate forecasting including rainfall  Increased number days with dense fog and cold wave  Absence of comprehensive policy for DRR and climate change Adaptation:  Tree Plantation (Bamboo and other appropriate plants)  Gabion wall and embankment protection  Awareness campaign by various GOs, NGOs and other agencies regarding flood and fire
  4. 4.  Community based institutions (youth groups) for management of flood and fire Unknown subjects  Causes and solutions for the increased frequency and magnitude of flood  Causes for changed character and pattern of rainfall  Causes of increased population of Mosquito, Dhamira, Monkey and rats  Relation between climate change and increased events of disasters Mountain Region Major Disasters: Landslide, frost, hailstorm, forest fire (Dadhelo) Issues:  Hailstorm generally used to occur in Chaitra Baishakh but now it occurs even in Kartik resulting in loss of crops  Increased attack of Monkey, Dumsi and Rat  Increased frequency of Landslide  Increased attack of Dhamira  Decreased period of frost  Decreased availability of water in water springs (pani ko mul) Adaptation:  Increased Community forestry, rain water harvesting,  Houses are built on Tar to avoid slope failure  Gabion wall and embankment protection for the control of land slide  Awareness campaign by various GOs, NGOs and other agencies (road shows)  Creation of Fire Line Unknown Subjects  Causes of changing characteristics of frost and storm  Causes for changed character and pattern of rainfall Hilly Region Major Disasters: landslide, forest fire, thunderstorm, lightening Issues:  Increased magnitude and frequency of landslide  Increased event of forest fire  Increased event of thunderstorm  Increased events of lightening  Change in time of landslide and lightening (unpredictable)
  5. 5. Adaptation:  Increased Community forestry, wildlife conservation,  Slope stabilization with bio engineering works, Gabion wall and embankment protection  Awareness campaign by various GOs, NGOs and other agencies  Creation of fire line ie Controlled fire Unknown Subjects  Snow is melting but water level in lakes and rivers is also decreasing, why?  Causes for changed character and pattern of hailstorm and lighteningl Way forward Way forward for all the three geographic regions is similar; however the techniques and ingredients or components of interventions will be different as per the nature of disaster and local socio economic condition. For example, awareness campaign should be carried out in all the three regions, however the nature, content and target will be different in each region. Therefore, the design of interventions should be sensitive towards local conditions. Future steps are as below  Awareness campaign and preparedness activities at local and district level  Promote community based disaster management and ensure its validity  Development and enforcement of comprehensive DRR policy, Act and strategies  Development of proper human resource at local level  Allocate proper resources for DRR and its distribution  Establish a climate change and Disaster study center and information center at district and regional level  Develop early warning center for disaster risk reduction, collaborate with various agencies like DHM, NARC,FM Radio and communities  Develop of appropriate infrastructure to be used during and after the disasters  Carry out Hazard and Vulnerability Mapping and assessment,  Assimilate DRR in district and local level planning  Identification and management of highly vulnerable area, people, community and structure  Identification and promotion of local knowledge and technology for adaptation and coping  Enhance the capacity of vulnerable community and area ie increase the resilience