the stream. The ants marching with eggs on their back or crabs coming out of the water in large numbers were some of the indicators we observed to watch the ﬂood. However, these indicators were unreliable, and unsystematic. Sometimes we used to give due importance to these indicators which would start a pandemonium about the ﬂood in the whole community. People would take their children and their belongings as fast as they could and run away to the higher ground. But there are
Woman observing water level in the downstream
Though the traditional practices were helpful in predicting ﬂood, sometimes it did not give the community enough time for preparation. Moreover, it was not something to be relied upon wholly. “SEWIN Project has created awareness and increased our knowledge on EWS. Though the traditional knowledge was helpful it was not sufﬁcient. I have also learned that early warning alone is not enough to save lives but early preparedness and early action is equally important. This year I will contact the gauge reader, listen to radio and also look for traditional indicators during monsoon to alert the community about the approaching ﬂood.” says Yadav.
times when we have ignored the signs and have suffered.”
Old and new practices go hand in hand
Inhabitants of Banke District are one of the most vulnerable communities in Nepal who live in constant fear of ﬂooding as they are surrounded by Rapti, Babai, and Mankhola Rivers. Having lived with ﬂood disaster for many decades, people of Binauna VDC have certain indigenous knowledge used for generations for prediction of ﬂood. Ramwati Yadav (42) from Aalinagar 9, Binauna VDC, Banke is a permanent resident of this VDC. He recalls how they used to predict ﬂood prior to the implementation of SEWIN Project. “We did not have a proper system to predict ﬂood or to inform us about the approaching ﬂood. The only way we knew was to observe water in the watershed and the strange and distinct smell coming from
Local FM staff constantly checking DHM web site for water level information
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