Operation and Maintenance Performance and Conflicts in Flood-control Projects in Bangladesh
Many embankments failed in severe floods in Bangladesh in 1987 and 1988, and concern grew over ways to improve flood-control projects. Maintenance was poor due to reliance on periodic rehabilitation, but few failures were due to poor construction or maintenance. Embankments mostly failed where they were eroded or were deliberately cut. They were cut by people living outside who believed they were made more flood-prone, and by people living inside because of internal drainage congestion. This reflected inadequate hydrological modelling, lack of consultation and failure to resolve conflicts between affected groups. Resources for maintenance are not generated locally and could be used more efficiently. Participatory planning could reduce conflicts, encourage a sense of project ownership and facilitate contributions to maintenance.