Indigenous Navigatory Devices used during the High Floods in North Bihar

  • Vidyanath Jha Department of Botany, L.N. Mithila University, MLSM College (A Constituent B+ College under L.N. Mithila University, Darbhanga), Darbhanga-846004, Bihar, India
Keywords: 2020 Floods, Banana pseudostem, Boats, Gas cylinders, Rubber Tubes, Thermocol, Water Hyacinth.


This paper takes into account the methods of adaptations to the extreme situations of floods in the rainy season of 2020 in the rural and urban areas of Darbhanga district in northern Bihar, India. Boats made of different types of woods are the first choice of people. The region has a sprawling boat industry that provides a basis of livelihood to the wood smith community. Boats are generally made available to the needy people by the agencies of Government. However, those deprived of the boat facility adapt to the situation by carving makeshift devices made from banana pseudo stems, water hyacinth fronds, dry wood pieces, pitcher floats, bamboo rafts, cement bowls for feeding the livestock etc. High floods of 2020 witnessed people using boats of thermocol and rubber tubes on a large scale. All these devices, whether natural or man-made, work on the principle of Archimedes. The paper reports an innovative practice of using the hollow gas cylinders intricately strung in the fashion of an open boat that was used for about 15-20 days till the high floods receded in the village Harichanda of Hanuman Nagar C.D. Block of Darbhanga district India. The system was devised by local young men to tide over the crisis of ferrying people to local orchards for defecation and also for maintaining the supply chain of drinking water, cooking gas and other essential services. The plant items achieve buoyancy due to their density lower than water. Those made of flattened wood or tin plates achieve floatability on account of large volume of water that they displace. The weight of people carried on these boats is lighter than the weight of the volume of water displaced in the process.
How to Cite
Jha V. Indigenous Navigatory Devices used during the High Floods in North Bihar. IJPE [Internet]. 30Dec.2020 [cited 6Dec.2023];6(04):292-7. Available from: