Stress on Integrated drought mitigation measures when coping crumbles

The 2nd national consultation workshop on Confronting Successive Drought: Reducing risk & Enhancing resilience of women and children organized jointly by UNICEF, National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM), and the government of Andhra Pradesh in Vijayavada on June 8-9,2017. The consultation stressed on the need for mitigating the impact of successive drought on agriculture, water stress, health, education specially relating to children and women.

Mr. Kamal Kishore, Member, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in his inaugural speech stated that for the last many years there were many discussions on drought situations in India and several measures had been being taken to face drought situations, mitigation based approach to reduce the impact of drought is the need of the hour. He stressed that, the mitigation based approach should also have response plan.

Appreciating the drought management practices adopted by the United States of America and Australia, he shared that Australia has stopped calling drought as a disaster and have long term plan and strategies for drought mitigation.

Addressing the gathering Mr. Lars Bend, Chief of disaster Risk Reduction unit of UNICEF India said equitable distribution of safe and sufficient water resources, usage of water saving technologies and the restoration of eco system is very important to reduce the risk of drought and this should be done on a long-term basis.

“When Coping Crumbles”, the drought assessment report of India 2015-16 was also released during the consultation workshop. Over 130 participants from across India including the representatives of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Telangana, Chhattisgarh and other states along with members of various NGOs took part in the workshop. Dr. Haridas VR, Incharge of Climate Adaptive Agriculture and Livelihoods in Caritas India participated in the consultation.

Participants stressed on the need of concerted effort in reducing the effect of drought through integrated area based approach in which all the stake holders such as community, community based organisations, NGOs, Universities, Government departments, district administration etc. should take active steps in mitigating measures. Such effective models should be tested for experimentation and then replicated in more areas. Generating real time data is also important for real assessments of the gravity of the situation and the changes bring in after the mitigation measures.