Community Vulnerability to Floods and Landslides in Nepal
Samir K.C., Research Scholar, World Population Program, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis; Wittgenstein Center for Demography and Global Human Capital (IIASA, VID/OEAW, WU)
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We addressed the issue of differential vulnerability to natural disasters at the level of village communities in Nepal. The focus lay on the relative importance of different dimensions of socioeconomic status and in particular, we tried to differentiate between the effects of education and income/wealth, the latter being measured through the existence of permanent housing structures. We studied damage due to floods and landslides in terms of human lives lost, animals lost, and other registered damage to households. The statistical analysis was carried out through several alternative models applied separately to the Terai and the Hill and Mountain Regions, as well as all of Nepal. At all levels and under all models, the results showed consistently significant effects of more education on lowering the number of human and animal deaths as well as the number of households otherwise affected. With respect to the wealth indicator, the picture was less clear and particularly with respect to losses in human lives, the estimated coefficients tended to have the wrong signs. We concluded that the effects of education on reducing disaster vulnerability tended to be more pervasive than those of income/wealth in the case of floods and landslides in Nepal.
education; floods and landslides; natural disaster; Nepal; vulnerability