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India - Bihar Kosi Flood Recovery Project: owner driven housing reconstruction

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The Kosi river rises in the Tibetan plateau of China and flows across Nepal into Bihar, joining the Ganges near Kursela, India. On 18th August 2008, the Kosi breached its embankments at Kusaha in Nepal’s Sunsari district, resulting in massive floods across Nepal and Bihar. The Kosi floods were subsequently declared a national calamity by the Government of India (GoI).

Over 330,000 housing units were damaged and significant structural impairments to roads, culverts, and bridges were reported in 412 panchayats. Approximately 284,000 ha of agricultural land in the five affected districts were exposed to the deposition of coarse sediment. The Kosi floods affected more than 3 million people, most of whom lived below the poverty line and/or came from landless households.

With assistance from the World Bank, the Government of Bihar’s (GoB) launched the Bihar Kosi Flood Recovery Project (BKFRP) to support flood recovery and risk reduction efforts in the affected region through i) the reconstruction of damaged houses, ii) the construction of road and bridge infrastructure, iii) the strengthening of the flood management capacity in the Kosi basin, iv) the enhancement of livelihood opportunities to all those affected, and v) the improvement of the emergency response capacity for future disasters. BKFRP was given a USD 220 million IDA credit that became effective on 08 March 2011 and the GoB created the Bihar Aapada Punarwas Evam Punarnirman Society (BAPEPS) for implementing the project.