Impact of flood on rural population and strategies for mitigation: A case study of Darbhanga district, Bihar state, India

Vikash Kumar, Suk Yin Caroline Cheng, Ajit Kumar Singh


Flood is one of the most disastrous acts of nature and it impacts human life in multiple ways such as internal displacement, morbidity, health, and mortality. Damages done to rural areas are more severe compared to urban counterparts due to poverty, limited infrastructures and access to resources and health professionals. The Province of Bihar in India, with a population of 104.1 million, has 76 percent of the population living under recurring threat of flood. In 2008, Bihar experienced severe flood in the northern region that affected more than 2.3 million people and in 2013, it affected more than 5.9 million in 3768 villages across 20 rural districts. The impact of flood is complex and far-reaching. Apart from health consequences, it damages properties and infrastructures, and thus further creates barrier to access to health care and social services. This paper outlines the impact of flood in the rural areas of Bihar and discusses the possible mitigation strategies for sustainable development of the flood-affected areas. It also highlights the continuous marginalization and exclusion of flooded communities in social development processes. It is hoped that this will raise awareness of the issue and call for global support to advocate for more effective strategies for flood mitigation planning.


Flood; Disaster; Health Services; Rural Communities; Vulnerability

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