Wetskills Kerala 2019 – By Xiaoxuan Zhao and Csilla Bekker – On the last day of the Wetskills program we had to give our pitches at the Conference o...READ MORE
In 2018 Kerala was facing devastating floods. New concepts of flood control are necessary to protect people, economy and environment, taking into account that more floods will come due to climate change. “Integrated Water Management and Flood Control“ was the central theme of this Wetskills event in Kerala, India.
A DRR team of Dutch water experts visited Kerala and studied the water situation in the area. Their recommendations for improved integrated Water Management in the area is found in report ‘Kerala Integrated Water Resource Management’. In this Wetskills event, the teams worked with the recommendations of this report.
This fourth Wetskills event in India was aligned to a high-level business delegation visit from the Netherlands to Kerala (Kochi) on 18 October. The results of the Wetskills Challenge were presented during this visit, to the Indian government, the business delegates and other stakeholders.
As women and children are the most affected group during flooding, their needs should get priority in planning practices. Special attention is required during and after disasters to improve their access to recovery assistance. Empowerment is needed, to help them advocate for themselves and to help them voice out issues that may improve the development of local mitigation and adaptation measures. Better participation of women in risk management initiatives is needed. One of the best practices in Kerala is Pink Alert (Kudumbasree), a permanent disaster management unit in Kerala, managed and operated by women. How could new measures, including capacity building training, enhance the potential of women in disaster risk management and disaster relief plans in Kerala?
Final Poster – Winning team!
India is working on transforming its cities into SMART cities. In 2018, one of the heaviest floods in 100 years took the lives of 200 people in Kochi and the region, and caused massive damage to infrastructure, further affecting the economy and livelihoods of the people in the area. Kochi airport had to close for 2 weeks because of the damage. While monsoon season can bring much needed rainfall, the season can also bring heavy floods, while a delayed onset of the monsoon can leave Kerala facing water shortages and severe draught. How can Kochi authorities use SMART planning and infrastructure, to increase the water storage capacity and reduce the effect of floods? and become a ‘SMART Resilient City’?
The State of Kerala demands a better upstream-downstream regime in order to avoid flood in the downstream area. Better allocation of water could lead to mitigation of floods while upstream agriculture could benefit from it. The Water Footprint is a scientifically proven method to measure and gain insight into the supply and demand of water for agriculture and even quantify it in terms of economic added value. How can the Water Footprint method be used in order to mitigate flood effects in terms upstream-downstream regime in Kerala?
The monsoon season between June and September brings 70% of Kerala’s rainfall. This water is necessary for sustaining the livelihoods of people, but it is also causing heavy flooding as in 2018 and 2019. Well-maintained rivers, canals and reservoirs could mitigate the effects of the monsoon. Dredging riverbeds and reservoirs will increase the capacity to retain floodwater. Improving small-scale watershed management, and maintenance of water retaining constructions, will avoid sedimentation of rivers. But most important, this should be done in a long-term scheme to make it more efficient and effective. How could Kerala organize and finance a long-term maintenance scheme, incl. dredging activities and improved watershed management, leading to flood risk mitigation?
Wetskills Kerala 2019 – by Zacharaia Joseph – Day 2 was assigned for excursion and site visits to flood and landslides affected areas in Waya...READ MORE