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Sheltering Series #8: Situation Analysis Gorakhpur, India: Climate Change, Flooding and Vulnerability

Authors: Dr. Bijay Singh, Tyler McMahon, Dilip Singh, Kate Hawley 

The communities inhabiting the flood-affected regions attribute the worsening flood impacts to climate change. Climate change is likely to increase the intensity of rain events around Gorakhpur over the next 50 years. It is projected that by the 2050s, small intensity rain events might see a 10%–20% increase. Of those more severe events, climate change might increase intensity by 2%–25%. Overall, climate change will impact rainfall amounts resulting in continued and potentially worsened flooding scenarios (ISET-International, 2013). This has likely contributed to and will result in more frequent water-logging, as shown in the previous section. Floods and water-logging create a recurring problem in Gorakhpur. Climate change is likely to make this problem worse. The problem has already been exacerbated by unplanned and unregulated development, but higher temperatures and more variable, unpredictable and intense precipitation pose an additional threat. The changing climate has given new dimensions to the problem and further extends the risk of floods and damages. Future climate impacts with more intense rainfall and changes in rainfall patterns could be significantly more severe and need to be considered in urban planning for the future. 


Citation: Singh, B., Singh, D., Hawley, K., & McMahon, T. (2014). Situation analysis Gorakhpur, India: Climate change, flooding and vulnerability (The Sheltering Series No. 8). Boulder, CO: Institute for Social and Environmental Transition-International. 

Funded by: (Disclaimer) This document is an output from a project funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the Netherlands Directorate-General for International Cooperation (DGIS) for the benefit of developing countries. However, the views expressed and information contained in it are not necessarily those of or endorsed by DFID, DGIS or the entities managing the delivery of the Climate and Development Knowledge Network, which can accept no responsibility or liability for such views, completeness or accuracy of the information or for any reliance placed on them.


The Sheltering Series describes the background, policy landscape, methodology and approach used by the Sheltering From a Gathering Storm team and highlights key issues that were discovered and explored during the project in India, Pakistan, and Vietnam. Sheltering From a Gathering Storm aims to improve the understanding of the costs and benefits of climate-resilient shelter design, and contribute towards the transformative change necessary to make communities more resilient to future disasters. For more information about the project and other available materials, please see: i-s-e-t.org/SHELTER 

Disclaimer: The Sheltering Series contains preliminary research and findings. These products are disseminated to catalyze discourse on timely issues. Most discussion papers undergo revisions, and some will be published formally in a different format.