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Decoding the monsoon floods in Bangladesh, India, Myanmar and Nepal

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Preface

Floods are amongst the most damaging and recurrent of all disasters.

Data reveals that floods are at the top of the list of disasters that should worry us, defying our perceptions about most dangerous disasters that are often based around the more media savvy earthquakes. Additionally, floods are morphing into new and even more devastating forms in recent years.

The ongoing ‘Safer Communities Innovation Lab’, under which this report has been developed looks at supporting community-led innovations on disasters. The lab is based out of Bangladesh, but looks at the sub-region of India, Myanmar and Nepal. This raised the need for us to look at what forms of deeper risks plague the communities against which these innovations will be identified.

A data based analysis of the context has led to this report, identifying floods as a major area of concern and highlighting a number of nuances within this larger risk.

With almost the entire region having experienced at least one flood in the new millennium, more than half the region prone to recurrent flooding, and even known desert regions experiencing a flood event almost every year in recent years, the emerging trend underscores the urgent need to focus on community resilience to floods. This is where a significant share of our efforts will need to focus in the coming times.

The study also gives us a spin-off benefit in terms of insights on how to anticipate and prepare for the 2018 monsoon and cyclone seasons.

We hope that this data will make a small contribution towards better decisions on disaster preparedness, at the levels of both policy and community innovations.