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Recurrent River Shift, Stream Bank Erosion and Livelihood Impacts on River Riparian in Triyuga Municipality
Bikram Manandhar, Laxmi Chaudhary

Last modified: 2017-09-04


Lateral shift in the river channel and bank erosion are natural processes but when these processes accelerate, they start producing damages to the livelihood resources of the people living along river bank. The purpose of this study has been to look into the pattern of lateral shift in the river channel of Triyuga River in Triyuga Municipality, Udayapur District of Nepal, degradation of the land resources caused due to shift, resulting consequences to livelihoods of the people and their adaptive practices.

The study involved both qualitative and quantitative approaches in collecting and analyzing relevant data and information. The lateral shift in the river alignment was carried out in GIS environment using Arc GIS. The magnitude of river channel shift and resulting land degradation were estimated for three time slices- 1992 to 1998, 1998 to 2011 and 1992 to 2011. The mean lateral shift from 1992 to 1998 was 234.92 m, from 1998 to 2011 was 204.08 m and overall from 1992 to 2011 was 251.95 m. Likewise, the total land degradation due to shift from 1992 to 2011 was 342.09 ha.

The Focused Group Discussions (FGDs) conducted at five locations along the river course revealed that the recurrent process of lateral channel shift and resulting land degradation impacted on people’s livelihoods. The pattern of land degradation obtained from the overlay analysis matched with the people’s perception that magnitude of damages caused to the land has been reduced in the present time than in the past. The study also revealed that vulnerability of the people to flooding and flood damages has been reduced due to diversification of livelihoods of the people and increase in the income opportunity. The most important adaptive strategy of the people has been shift from agriculture based livelihood to non-farm income opportunities in Triyuga Municipality.

The study concluded that shift in the livelihoods of the people helps lowering the vulnerability. Considering development of landuse master plan of Triyuga Municipality and designating the waterway of Triyuga River in the master plan and using this to regulate the development of human settlements as well as physical infrastructures along the river course would be the best way to contain the likely damages to livelihood resources of the people in future.


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