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Consequences of Water Induced Disasters to Livelihood Activities in Nepal
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 Title & Authors
Consequences of Water Induced Disasters to Livelihood Activities in Nepal
Gurung, Anup; Karki, Arpana; Karki, Rahul; Bista, Rajesh; Oh, Sang-Eun;
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BACKGROUND: The changes in the climatic conditions have brought potentially significant new challenges, most critical are likely to be its impact on local livelihoods, agriculture, biodiversity and environments. Water induced disasters such as landslides, floods, erratic rain etc., are very common in developing countries which lead to changes in biological, geophysical and socioeconomic elements. The extent of damages caused by natural disasters is more sever in least developing countries. However, disasters affect women and men differently. In most of the cases women have to carry more burden as compared to their male counterpart during the period of disasters. METHODS AND RESULTS: This study examines the impact of disasters on the local livelihood especially agriculture and income generating activities of women in three districts of Nepal. The study uses the primary data collected following an exploratory approach, based on an intensive field study. The general findings of the study revealed that women had to experience hard time as compared to their male counterpart both during and after the disaster happen. Women are responsible for caring their children, collecting firewood, fetching water, collecting grass for livestock and performing household chores. Whereas, men are mainly involved in out-migration and remained out-side home most of the time. After the disaster occurred, most of the women had to struggle to support their lives as well as had to work longer hours than men during reconstruction period. Nepal follows patriarchal system and men can afford more leisure time as compared to women. During the disaster period, some of the households lost their agricultural lands, livestock and other properties. These losses created some additional workload to women respondent, however at the same time; they learn to build confidence, self-respect, self-esteem, and self-dependency.Although Nepal is predominantly agriculture, majority of the farmers are at subsistence level. In addition, men and women have different roles which differ with the variation in agro-production systems. Moreover women are extensively involved in agricultural activities though their importances were not recognized. Denial of land ownership and denial of access to resources as well as migration of male counterparts are some of the major reasons for affecting the agricultural environments for women in Nepal. CONCLUSION: The shelter reconstruction program has definitely brought positive change in women's access to decision making. The gradual increase in number of women respondent in access to decision making in different areas is a positive change and this has also provided them with a unique opportunity to change their gendered status in society.Furthermore, the exodus out-flow of male counterparts accelerated the additional burden and workload on women.
Decision making;Disaster;Environment;Floods;Livestock;Poverty;Women;
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