Vulnerabilities to flood hazards can best be prevented by not using flood prone areas for agricultural production and related habitation. Flood hazard maps are essential tools for land use planning, ttey appear often unsuccessful but when followed up by actual management decisions on land use, these monitoring exercises are invaluable.
As in many other cases of natural disasters, there are flood prone areas that nevertheless have to be used for agricultural production. Flood control and management are the starting points of any flood preparedness initiatives in development planning (e.g. Lohani and Acharya in Sahni and Ariyabandu 2003). tte most obvious improvements are large scale flood water detention or flood diversion attempts for agricultural purposes (Stigter et al. 2003a). It must also be clear that such calamities as for example happen in China around its Yangtze river with a not negligible frequency (Winchester 1996) can hardly be met with any production adaptation strategy although annual flooding can be agriculturally used (Stigter et al. 2003a). Flood resistant construction techniques are discussed by Dhameja in Sahni and Ariyabandu (2003) and Ariyabandu indicates in Sahni and Ariyabandu (2003) that a demand driven approach to address substantial issues in vulnerabilities of communities like that of livelihood security in response to floods is in the offing, ttese are challenges that go far beyond monitoring and early warnings schemes.
A serious effect of floods is landslides, tte counter-measures as an aspect of large scale land use planning that have to be taken in advance demand for direct expenditures in civil engineering but may also compete with agricultural land. In such cases priority should be given to the engineering aspects although keeping enough good quality land for agricultural production has been recognized as a pri-oritypolicyissue (Stigter et al. 2000).
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