There is a growing concern of desertification in Attappadi, Kerala, India.


Photo credit: Asianet.Newsable

Tribal land in Kerala stares at massive drought

By Team Asianet Newsable

  • Health Department has warned of drought-related deaths in Attappadi.
  • Monsoon rainfall in Attappadi dipped drastically this year, recording a shortfall of over 90%.
  • Greens warn that the area is facing a big environmental tragedy.

Attappadi, the tribal heartland of Kerala, is under the threat of a severe drought as monsoon clouds failed to bring showers to the denuded hilly area which is infamous for starvation deaths and abysmal infant mortality rate. Much ahead of summer, the Health Department has warned of serious problems, including casualties, due to the imminent drought.

Two rivers (Siruvani and Bhavani) that provide water to the population of which tribes constitute 40% have dwindled to a trickle in most parts of Attappadi as the area recorded a dip of nearly 90% of normal rainfall this year.

“If Attappadi usually makes headlines for starvation deaths and poor infant mortality rate, it will soon be in the news for environmental degradation,” warned Radhakrishna Kurup, an environmental activist.

The water level has dipped to more than 10 metres in wells in the eastern Attappadi, says Shaju GI, hydrologist. “There is a growing concern of desertification in the whole area, especially the eastern region,” he warned.

Read the full story: Asianet Newsable

Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.