as an annual average. Forty million hectares of land are at risk every year and an average of 1,800 people are killed by floods annually in India.
In China, 8% of the middle and lower reaches of the seven large rivers are prone to floods. On average, approximately 130 million people are exposed to flooding every year and about 2,000 people die in floods every year. The flood prone parts of China are where one-half of the country’s population lives. This region produces 70% of the industrial and agricultural value for the country. More than 8 million hectares are flooded annually, and more than 100 medium to large cities have been affected by flooding during the past 30 years. The resulting economic losses are almost 25% of the annual world economic loss caused by floods.
In Bangladesh, 86 million people were affected by natural disasters, primarily floods, between 1998 and 2008. In Pakistan, in August 2010, two weeks of intense monsoon rains caused major rivers to wash away roads, bridges and croplands. The Pakistan flooding affected an estimated 20.5 million people - over 1,700 were killed, 6 million were displaced and
1.89 million houses were destroyed. By November 2010, over 7 million were still affected and lacked proper housing.
Parts of Nepal are also vulnerable to seasonal flooding and an estimated 250-300 people die in floods each year while 5-6 million are physically exposed to flooding. A single flash flood in 1993 knocked out half of Nepal’s electricity production for several months causing a major economic impact in the country (NCVST, 2009).
The consequences of climate change are also being felt with the increasing scarcity of water at particular times. The implications of reduced water availability, both from rainfall and glacial flow supplies from the Himalayas, will severely impact agriculture and food reserves. UNDP (2006) warns that increased temperatures and water stress may lead to a 30% decrease in crop yields in South Asia by the mid-21st century.
Besides the availability of water, access to freshwater is at risk as projections indicate that this may decrease by the 2050s (UNEP, 2009).