Exploring Migration and Disaster Nexus

Role of migration in triggering disasters

  • Sanju Koirala, Dr. Policy Entrepreneurs Incorporated
  • Shristi Shakya Policy Entrepreneurs Incorporated
  • Gitta Shrestha International Water Management Institute (IWMI) Nepal
  • Mina Adhikari, Dr. Nepal Water Conservation Foundation (NWCF)
Keywords: East Rapti, Migration, Nepal, Water-induced Disasters


The nexus between migration and disaster has commonly been referred to in previous researches. In particular, previous studies often describe migration as a coping strategy for climate and water-induced disasters (WID). Yet, limited studies have explored the role of migration in triggering disaster and intensifying the risk and exposure of communities to such events. Considering this research gap, this study aims to assess the linkage between internal and external migration and disaster events. Employing qualitative research methods and taking the Extended East Rapti River Watershed located in Chitwan and Makwanpur districts of Nepal as a case, this study indicates that unmanaged internal migration in the study area has increased the prospects of WID and its risk in the region. These instances were mainly due to over-exploitation of resources and change in land-use practices in the Chure region and Tarai. Likewise, haphazard growth of urban and semi-urban areas, expansion of settlements in hazardous areas, and an increase in built-up areas in the watershed have further contributed to an increase in incidences of WID as well as the risk, exposure, and vulnerability of the residents to such events. The research also reveals that poor governance to manage the process of migration and urbanization is largely responsible for this phenomenon than the migrants alone. Finally, this article suggests not undermining the role of different types of migration and their governance while studying the migration-disaster nexus.


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How to Cite
Koirala, S., Shakya, S., Shrestha, G., & Adhikari, M. (2021). Exploring Migration and Disaster Nexus. The South Asianist Journal, 8, 10-40. Retrieved from http://www.southasianist.ed.ac.uk/article/view/5208