Seasonal vulnerability and risk calendar in Nepal

Question

What is the information and evidence on the seasonal vulnerability and risk calendar in Nepal at a national and sub-national level?

Summary

Nepal faces many seasonal disasters, including floods, landslides, fires, droughts and diseases. Findings of this rapid review indicates that:

  • Most people are killed and injured during July–September which is in the monsoon period.
  • Preparedness activities could take place in anticipation of seasonal disasters.
  • The Tarai is vulnerable to floods, lightening, epidemics and drought in the monsoon period; and fires, windstorms, and drought in the dry season.
  • The Hills are vulnerable to floods, landslides, drought, epidemics, lightening, and hailstorms in the monsoon period; and fires, windstorms, and drought in the dry season.
  • The Mountains are vulnerable to landslides, glacial lake outburst floods, drought, lightening, and epidemics in the lower parts of the mountain region in the monsoon period; windstorms in the dry season; and avalanches in the winter period.
  • The monsoon season (June-September) often experiences landslides, flooding, thunderstorms, disease (cholera, gastroenteritis, diarrhoea, encephalitis, meningitis, typhoid, jaundice, malaria, Japanese encephalitis) and drought (when the monsoon rains fail).
  • The dry season (March-June) often experiences household and wildfires, drought, heatwaves, and windstorms.
  • The winter season (November-February) often experiences avalanches, avian influenza, and crop damage.
  • Nepal is very vulnerable to climate change which is expected to lead to more extreme weather and changing seasons.
  • Summer cropping season (June-September) involves rice, maize and millet, while the winter cropping season (October-May) involves wheat, barley and potatoes.
  • Seasonal food shortages are quite common in many parts of Nepal. July-August and January-March are traditionally agricultural lean seasons, leading to increased risks of food insecurity.
  • Water-borne diseases are common between June-August. Water sources may be seasonal.
  • Seasonal migration is related to the agricultural cycle, with young men leaving to find work, leaving those behind more vulnerable to disasters.

Other seasonal events which may increase vulnerability include:

  • The main festival season, which is in October/November. Festivals can see mass gatherings of people.
  • Autumn and spring, which are the main tourist trekking and hiking seasons in Nepal.

Enquirer:

Suggested citation

Rohwerder, B. (2016). Seasonal vulnerability and risk calendar in Nepal (GSDRC Helpdesk Research Report 1358). Birmingham, UK: GSDRC, University of Birmingham.