Articles | Volume 16, issue 11
Brief communication
08 Nov 2016
Brief communication |  | 08 Nov 2016

Brief communication: Loss and damage from a catastrophic landslide in Nepal

Kees van der Geest and Markus Schindler

Abstract. This brief communication reports key findings of a recent piece of research that studied the impacts of the 2014 Jure landslide in Sindhupalchok (Nepal) and the effectiveness of household preventive and coping measures. The people-centered methods reveal not just what was lost in the disaster, but also how and why. A key finding of the household survey is that households in higher income groups incurred higher losses in monetary terms, simply because they had more to lose. By contrast, lower-income households lost more in relative terms: the value of their losses amounted to 14 times their annual earnings. Many lower-income households will never fully recover from this blow to their livelihoods and wellbeing. The findings have important implications for discussions on loss and damage valuation, compensation and relief.

Short summary
August 2014 saw a major landslide strike in a densely populated district 80 km northeast of Kathmandu, in Sindhupalchok district. This study combines evidence from surveys and interviews to assess impacts and preventive and coping measures taken. The impacts relative to annual income show that lower-income households lost up to 14 times their annual income, as opposed to 3 times for the wealthier. The implications of these findings for discussions surrounding loss and damage are discussed.
Final-revised paper