Kosi is a trans-boundary river which flows across China, Nepal and India. It is estimated that the river has shifted over 133 km from east to west during the last 200 years. The Kosi River is known as the ‘Sorrow of Bihar’ because it destroys over 21,000 square kilometers of agricultural land in floods annually.
Following the devastating floods of 1954 in the Kosi river basin, the Bihar Government constructed embankments along the Kosi river to prevent its course from shifting. Though the embankments came as a respite for many, these structures have affected the lives and livelihoods of thousands of people living inside them. For those living inside the embankments there is a constant fear of floods and water logging since flood water does not drain out of the embanked area. Furthermore, the changing climatic conditions are leading to a change in number of dry and wet days that causes untimely rainfall and flood events.
Climatic and non-climatic factors lay a direct impact on agriculture. The case study highlights the wide range of resilient measures, implemented by small and marginal farmers of five villages in Nirmali block of Supaul district, Bihar to combat climate change related losses and damages to agriculture from flooding and water logging.