A major water crisis in South Asia

Photo credit: Google

India’s thirst for groundwater is threatening a major water crisis, and adding to global sea level rise, says a report.


South Asia running out of groundwater

[NEW DELHI] India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan along with China account for nearly half of the world’s total groundwater use and these regions are expected to  experience serious deficits, says the UN World Water Development Report (WWDR 2015), Water for a Sustainable World 2015 released ahead of  World Water Day on 22 March.

WWDR 2015 explains the complex relationship between access to water and economic development using India as an example.  Between 1960 and 2000 India’s mechanised tube wells increased from one million to 19 million.

India has 26 million groundwater structures; Bangladesh and Pakistan each have around 5 million.

Read the full article: SciDevNet

Climate change is linked to social structures and gender

Photo credit: IWMI

Photo: Neil Palmer (CIAT)

International Women’s Day

Ganges women to bear the brunt of Climate Change

Poor women and vulnerable groups will “bear the brunt” of climate change in parts of India, Nepal and Bangladesh, according to a new report published by the International Water Management Institute (IWMI).


The Ganges River Basin is already experiencing increases in unpredictable weather patterns, droughts, floods, cyclones and other natural disasters. However, scientists predict that average temperatures in the region will increase by around 0.4 °C over the next two decades, which could cause even greater environmental and social disruption.

This poses serious challenges to a region where the majority of its 655 million inhabitants rely directly on agriculture and access to natural resources for their livelihoods.

The report focuses on three key countries that depend on the Ganges River Basin: India, Nepal and Bangladesh. By reviewing extensive studies from the region, it argues that vulnerability to climate change is “intricately linked” to social structures such as gender, class, caste and ethnicity. It makes the case that those at the bottom of the social ladder have less power and fewer resources to adapt to the possible effects of climate change.

“This is the first time that such a broad range of studies has been brought together and analyzed as a whole,” said Fraser Sugden, Researcher – Social Science, IWMI, and lead author of the report. “The research results clearly show that women face considerable vulnerability to climate change and that this is also a complex process, with vulnerability being economic, social and psychological and shaped by intersecting divisions of class and caste. There is a need to rethink policies and methods of engagement with marginalized groups, so as to address the social structures which cause vulnerability in the first place.”

Read the full article: IWMI

Floods, landslides and droughts in Nepal

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Surkhet, Nepal Village Plateau

Farmer to farmer video at the Himalayan Permaculture Centre – Photostory


Nepal is vulnerable to the impacts of climate change experienced through recurrent natural disasters such as floods, landslides and droughts. The majority of the working population are dependent on agriculture for their livelihood. Subsistence agriculture is often practiced by rural communities who often rely on the climatic conditions and traditional farming practices. In the past years, changes in the climatic conditions such as warmer winters, changing rainfall patterns and warmer temperatures have greatly affected agriculture productivity and disrupted the planting seasons leading to crop failure and food shortages.

To build a community that is more resilient to the impacts of climate change and improve the livelihoods of rural communities in the Surkhet region, innovative and creative ways are needed to communicate action that supports sustainable and resilient livelihoods in the long-term in the face of uncertain climatic conditions, especially in rural deprived areas.

Read the full story: weAdapt

Nutritional status and economic vulnerability

Photo credit: Pixabay

Street market: vegetables and fruits in Nepal

Home Gardening for Improved Livelihoods in Nepal

Video : http://youtu.be/U9FtIuG3cpo

LI-BIRD implemented the Home Garden project in three different phases from 2002 to 2013. The project was funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), and covered 16 districts of Nepal.

The Home Garden project’s interventions have been highly
successful in improving the nutritional status of families from poor and disadvantaged groups. Home gardens are also reducing economic vulnerability through income generated by sale of
surplus products and reduced expenditure for vegetables, fruits and meat. This film highlights the overall achievements from the three phases of the Home Garden project in Nepal.

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