Finger in the dike

While a timetable has now been announced for plugging the embankment breach on the Kosi, local communities are left to wonder – how much will it help?

As of mid-November, all arrangements to patch up the massive breach at Kusaha had been completed, and the Kosi River was slated to be brought back completely within its embankments by March 2009. Does this mean that everything will be back to normal at that time? Flood victims are, of course, consoled time and again that there will be no repeat of this year's massive catastrophe. But the Kosi refuses to accept the verdict of engineers and the order of politicians by dutifully returning to its natural floodplain, thus continuing to defy the skills of the former and the powers of the latter to contain it.

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Himal Southasian
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