On 18 August 2008, the Kosi River burst through its eastern embankment about 13 km upstream of the Kosi Barrage in Nepal, 8 km north of the Indian border. At its peak, the intensity of water force went up to 166,000 cubic feet per second (cusec) compared with the regular 25,744 cusec, running straight down south through a new course 15-20 km wide and 150 long north to south. This created major flooding in Nepal and India - Bihar in particular. According to official sources, a total of 3.3 million people were affected in Bihar alone.
The needs assessment found immediate housing reconstruction needs at Rs. 9.9 billion (US$ 225 million) for 157,428 houses eligible for assistance. Road and bridge reconstruction estimates were Rs 13.9 billion (US$317 million) which accounted for the need for multi-hazard resistant construction, and better quality construction to “build back better” after the disaster. Reconstruction of water resources was found to be Rs 26828 million (US$591.4 million).The Assessment also identified a number of priority areas for recovery in the livelihoods, health, education, social, and environmental sectors. There is a need to build a strategy that includes increasing agricultural productivity as well as developing alternative livelihood options in the non-farming sector. Other needs include reconstructing destroyed academic institutions, putting in place counseling programs for students and teachers, re-distributing pedagogic materials, strengthening basic health services in communities, and maintaining vector and water-borne disease control.
The report also includes a recovery framework for short, medium, and long term recovery.