The predicted increase in frequency and severity of flooding events poses substantial challenges for the farming communities of developing countries. Given the financial limitations of governments in these countries, the concept of participatory flood management is of high relevance. This article studies how communities can participate in structural measures such as embankments/dikes. Given that surplus rural labor is available due to the seasonal nature of agricultural operations, this paper utilizes a field survey for exploring the willingness to contribute (WTC) labor by rural households in Pakistan towards a hypothetical flood-protection scheme. Results show a potential labor contribution of 11.07 man-days per year per household (equivalent to Rs. 4,084 or 39 USD). The WTC decision is positively influenced by the number of adult family members, livestock damage, compensation received and expected effectiveness of the intervention, but is negatively influenced by age and education of the household head, farm income and the distance of the farm from the river. The study concludes that community resources (e.g., manual labor) can be utilized for flood mitigation, which may reduce the costs of building and maintaining the infrastructure while increasing the sense of security and ownership. This would also ensure the sustainability of flood protection interventions to a considerable extent.

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