Feasibility Study Report

Review and Explore Opportunities for Appropriate TFEWS in Mahakali River Basin

Paper author: 
Oxfam in Nepal
Paper publication date: 
Thursday, November 18, 2021

Oxfam in Nepal with technical support from Practical Action Consulting conducted study to understand the feasibility of Early Warning System in Mahakali basin in 2018. It showed that people living in tributaries are more vulnerable to recurrent disasters. Disasters like floods which are triggered by climate change have more impact on riverine communities, especially women living in the tributaries of Mahakali river. It has also recommended to establish Early Warning system in Rangoon and Tigram area in the Mahakali basin.

This report is an outcome of analyzing existing gaps and identify the potential areas for collaboration for an effective TFEWS in Mahakali river basin through field assessments, literature review and stakeholder consultations. Assessments and recommendations for effective TFEWS are done across all four components of early warning-risk knowledge, monitoring and warning system, communication and dissemination and response capacity. Practical Action Consulting in Nepal led the field activities across Nepal side while PAC India coordinated the activities across Indian territories. Upstream portion of Mahakali river spanning across Darchula, Baitadi and Dadeldhura was assessed to see suitability of installing hydro-met station for EWS with increased lead time. The suitable site selection for early warning system across the border of India and Nepal was discussed and proposed after conducting the field survey of the river basin of both sides of the border.

Lack of comprehensive risk assessment, manually operated hydro-met services, informal communication across the border, lack of institutional set up and unprioritized early warning in the joint committee for water resources between Nepal and India are some of the challenges of TFEWS in Mahakali basin. Nevertheless, the existing network of hydromet stations, flood predicting system and the national level response mechanism and the current institutions lay as robust entry points for developing effective EWS in the region.