Nepal is particularly susceptible to climate-related disasters, such as floods, landslides and debris flows, due to its varied topography and geological characteristics. The current study surveyed households in the Udayapur district that are especially vulnerable to floods. Over the past 20 years households have reported that while the frequency of floods has decreased (61.2%), the severity has increased (65.6%). In the short-term severe floods critically reduce or destroy crop yields, in the long-term they reduce soil fertility by increasing topsoil erosion and sedimentation. These effects are catastrophic in a region where most households depend on crop cultivation for their livelihoods and subsistence.
In addition to losing crops, many also experience food shortages as a result of rising food prices in the aftermath of a flood. Households apply both preventive (e.g. building physical barriers) and coping measures (e.g. reliance on aid, migration, selling property) to deal with the floods. While much effort is expended on such measures it has not been enough to counteract adverse effects.