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Livelihood Issues In Flood Affected Farm Economy : A Case Study Of Don River Basin, Bijapur, India

Congress: 2015

Keyword(s): Sub-theme 11: Key vulnerabilities and security risks,
AbstractIntroduction Flood is the most destructive natural disaster which is difficult to predict because of its nature of occurrence. Floods are caused by three factors namely; cloud burst, monsoon depression and tropical cyclones. Of the total annual rainfall in India, 75 per cent is concentrated over a short monsoon season of three to four months. As a result, there is a large amount of discharge from the rivers during monsoon period causing floods. The problem has become severe on account of deforestation and depositing of silt in the river beds. This apart the anthropogenic factors like encroachment of river banks, construction of structures obstructing the natural course of river bodies, free flow of natural flood water are triggering the disasters. When occur, floods inundate low lying areas by the sides of river and cause huge loss of life, crop and other properties. In India, out of the total sown area, about 60 per cent which is dependent on the rainfall is prone to floods and droughts. And, the floods and droughts occurring repetitively after some years have an adverse effect on the country's economy. Of late the devastating effects of flood and other natural disasters are getting focussed into public debate widely due to fast communication network and media coverage. Governments have also become sensitive to such events and coming up with mitigation measures. These events need scientific base for long term planning. Methods Don River is a small tributary of Krishna River in the southern peninsula of India which runs for about 141 km in Bijapur district. Floods in Don River have occurred for many decades but no permanent measures have been taken up. Present study was carried out to assess the nature and extent of damage to the farm economy and impact on the livelihoods of households, and to document relief and rehabilitation measures due to floods in Don River during 2009. Appropriate primary and secondary data were compiled and analysed employing suitable statistical tools. Flood affected households were selected purposively and data needed for the study were collected from respondents by personal interview method using pre-tested schedule. Findings of the study are expected to provide inputs to policy makers to take up preventive and adaptive measures. Results and Discussion The study revealed that there was wide spread loss on the banks of Don River in Bijapur district. These include loss to agriculture and horticultural crops, minor irrigation tanks, watershed structures, highways, roads and tanks, electrical power supply and losses due to health and hygiene issues. Floods also caused wide ranging biophysical loss to residential houses, livestock sheds, and irrigation pump set sheds. On an average, loss to dwelling house was to the tune of Rs. 1,34,875, Rs. 1,48,300 and Rs. 1,45,250 in case of large, small and landless farmers, per house hold respectively. The loss to livestock sheds was worth Rs. 99,450, Rs. 97,450 and Rs. 51,560 per house hold, respectively in case of large, small and landless farmers. Loss to irrigation pump set sheds per house hold was to the tune of Rs. 52,560, Rs. 40,150 and 51,560, respectively in the three farm categories. Floods also caused losses to livestock due to missing, death and disease or handicapping. In estimating the economic losses arising from crop failure during affected year, data on actual yield was compared with yields during normal year from the respondents in the flood affected area. On an average, the value of crop loss was to the extent of Rs. 0.1 million per house hold during the floods which worked out to about 62 per cent loss over the normal year. In terms of loss to food grains and farm inputs, materials worth Rs. 1,77,000, Rs. 82,930 and Rs. 24,225 were lost per house hold in case of large, small and landless farmers. As per the official estimates, public infrastructure like roads, bridges, watershed structures, irrigation tanks and others worth about Rs. 229 million was damaged. Generally life is thrown off the track during such times. Major challenges, as reported by the affected farmers during floods, were non availability of drinking water, food and electricity, closure of schools, problem with dwelling, lack of medical facilities, inadequate transportation facilities, crop loss, loss of farm soils, non availability of labor and inputs, field inundation, increase in incidence of pest attack, shortage of dry and green fodder, loss of livestock and non-availability of concentrates were other problems faced by farmers in the study area. Policy Based on the findings, the study recommends participatory community approach for loss assessment, modifications to the norms for compensation to the affected people, strengthening district level Natural Disaster Management Cell with advanced knowledge and logistics. Long term measures for total rehabilitation of Don River is must to avoid huge socio-economic losses in future. This calls for preparation of a Detailed Project Report (DPR) to be submitted to the Ministry of Water Resources, Government of India for funding.
2011 IWRA - International Water Resources Association - - Admin