Living with floods along the Karnali River
Sammanfattning: This study addresses adaptive capacity to floods. We employ a case study method with two units of analysis comprising the villages of Shankarpur and Murgahawa, located in a flood prone area by a branch of Nepal’s largest river, Karnali. Our study describes the response cycle that the residents of these communities employ; their strategies to adapt to, cope with, and recover from floods. We analyse how these activities are steered by what we see as the central parts of adaptive capacity, access to resources and social learning. Finally, our study identifies a set of social factors that limit the adaptive capacity of individuals and the communities as a whole. We conclude that the persisting unequal power relations limit the adaptive capacity of marginalized social groups and impede women from learning crucial skills. Weak social relations hinder the process of social learning. These factors have a negative influence not only on individuals but also on the adaptive capacity of the communities as a whole.
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