Monday 5
Social-Ecological Resilience, Climate Change and Adaptive Water Governance of Regional Scale Water Systems in the United States
Nils Ferrand, Lance Gunderson, Barbara Cosens
› 11:05 - 18:00 (6h55)
› Béziers
The role of social relations and local power structure in managing drinking water stress after natural extreme events
Raju Sarkar  1@  , Joachim Vogt@
1 : Institute of Regional Science  (IfR)  -  Website
Kaiserstraße 12 D-76131 Karlsruhe -  Allemagne

This paper aims to find out the functionality, scope, and limitation of post-disaster communal response and communal capacity to adopt with disaster adversities; implicitly concentrating in drinking water aspects in south-western rural coastal areas of Bangladesh. The intensity of difficulties in drinking water sector in the study area is mainly influenced by the spatially varied availability of drinking water sources and related seasonality aspects. Tube well, ponds with or without adjacent filtration facility and household based rainwater harvesting plant are the main drinking water sources available here. Because of high salinity in shallow aquifers, particle size of the soil, thickness of aquifer, availability of potable water layer in small pockets and significant concentration of arsenic and iron, success in terms of tube well installation is limited. People can drink pond water mainly in the monsoon season because of the tolerable limit of salinity but it is subject to microbiological contamination. Possibility to collapse for the above mentioned drinking water supply system remains always high after natural extreme events, because of an outbreak of epidemics and other forms of secondary impacts. The southwestern coastal inhabitants have experienced such incidence during the last devastating cyclone ‘Aila' in 2009. 

After this incidence, along with inter and intra communal initiatives; a temporary water supply programme has been put into action by different NGOs to face the challenge, where water has been distributed as disaster relief material. Information regarding the distribution programme, other forms of coping strategies, and related problem features has been collected through structured questionnaire survey, in depth interviews and case studies. The results show that the communal resilience in managing drinking water stress after catastrophic destruction is limited due to the marginal livelihood security along with geo-spatial constraints, lack of coordination between socio-political and administrative organizations, the informal interactions of local power structure and mass level corruption. On the contrary, the social bondage, enthusiasm as well as voluntary labor offered by the local young generation and the sense of fellow feelings in general to combat the adversities represents their capacity to cope with such crisis situation.


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