India-Bihar Kosi Flood Recovery Project

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Project Objectives

The Project Development Objective of the Bihar: Kosi Flood Recovery Project is to support the flood recovery as well as future oriented risk reduction efforts of the Government of Bihar through:

1) Reconstruction of damaged houses and road infrastructure

2) Strengthening the flood management capacity in the Kosi Basin

3) Enhancing livelihoods opportunities of the affected people

4) Improving the emergency response capacity for future disasters.

The proposed project will finance the costs associated with helping the recovery of the Kosi flood affected areas of Bihar and constitutes phase one of larger multi-sector engagement on risk and vulnerability reduction, improved flood management capacity, increased agricultural productivity and connectivity.

On August 18, 2008, the Kosi river burst through its eastern embankment, 13 km upstream of the Kosi barrage in Nepal, 8 km north of the Indian border. This created major flooding in Nepal and Bihar. The river flooded five districts (Supaul, Madhepura,Saharsa, Araria and Purnea) in Bihar that had not experienced significant flooding since the completion of the barrage and afflux embankments in 1963, with consequent lack of preparedness.

In Bihar, the flood catastrophe triggered one of the largest evacuation operations, with over 1,000,000 people evacuated, and about 460,000 persons accommodated in 360 relief camps. Significant damages to infrastructure including housing, rural roads, culverts and bridges apart from loss to livelihoods due to sand deposition on agricultural land have occurred. Although the flood event occurred in August 2008, there has not been any significant reconstruction. Recovery needs are still enormous and have remained largely unfulfilled due to lack of adequate financial support.