Rapti River Basin

The Rapti River Basin originates from the middle mountains of Nepal and includes both the West and East Rapti Rivers. The East Rapti River flows from east to west through the Chitwan Valley in Nepal, forming the northern border of the Chitwan National Park. It joins the Narayani River inside the protected area. The small tributaries and the Rapti rivers support diverse fish fauna including small indigenous species such as Mara (Amblypharyngodonmola), Dedhwa (Esomusdanricus) and Pothi (Puntiussophore) which are considered as a highly valuable source of macro and micro-nutrients. But the fish stock in these significant water bodies is shrinking at an alarming rate due to destructive fishing such as electric fishing, dynamiting, poisoning, and overuse of insecticides and pesticides. Mostly the indigenous peoples like Tamang, Chepang, Bankariya are engaged in capture fishing. The tributaries of the Rapti River originate at about 3500 m elevation close to the border of Rukum and Rolpa districts as Madi River and at about 3600 m elevation close to the border of Baglung and Rolpa districts as Lungri Khola. Other tributaries are Jhimruk River, Arjun khola, Suraiya khola, and Ransing khola, among others. This river basin has a high potential for hydropower generation and irrigation potential which has been recently undertaken by the government of Nepal for its development. Flooding in the Rapti River Basin occurs almost every year, due to the southwest monsoon, which leaves several hectares of agricultural land inundated and washed away. Nepal agencies including the Water and Energy Commission Secretariat (WECS), Ministry of Energy, and Water Resources and Irrigation collaboratively planned to create Naumure Hydroelectricity Project and a high dam in Bhalubang area of Dang for the development of Rapti River Basin and also to minimize flood risk. After the enactment of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, Rapti River Basin has established a flood emergency plan that includes different measures, including a barh chawki, relief center, camps, barh sector, and control room.