Flooding at Nepal's Koshi Tappu Ramsar site

11/09/2008

Floods at Nepal's Koshi Tappu Ramsar site

The Secretariat has recently received a report from the Ramsar Administrative Authority in Nepal informing us of the devastating impact of the Koshi River breaking its defensive embankment in mid-August, flooding and affecting 60,000 people in Nepal and another 3 million people in neighbouring Bihar State, India. Before the break in the embankment, the Koshi River was also the source of the water for the Koshi Tappu, Nepal's first Ramsar site, but only 20% of the water now reaches the site because of the change in the course of the river.

Whilst much humanitarian aid is now being given to help the people affected by the flood, the Secretariat is also communicating with the Ramsar Administrative Authority in Nepal to see what assistance can be given to assess the impact to the Koshi Tappu Ramsar site and make suggestions for the future conservation of the site. The report from Dr Annapurna Nand Das of the Dept. of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation can be seen here (PDF), and some photos and a satellite image of the flooding can be found below.

The blue along the upper left shows the Koshi in its original course, and the red flowing from the broken retaining wall indicates the flooding as of 31 August 2008

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