Thursday, 29 December 2016

Kerala fights drought with recharged wells

In October, Kerala's Government declared the state as drought affected. For a state that receives the first onslaught of the southwest monsoon, the year 2016 has been bad. While the southwest monsson was deficient by 34%, the northeast was deficient by 62%. The state has only received 1,532.5 mm of rain till December 14, whereas the average annual rainfall is 2,508 mm, which could man a deficit of 39% during 2016. The State Government has decided to upscale the Mazhapolima (rain bounty) scheme of well recharge found successful in Thrissur district to all parts of the state. MORE ...

Jos Raphael of Mazhapolima (right) talks to the officials of a public health centre. 

P.P. George and Theresa George near their well with recharge system in Arimbur village.

Friday, 16 December 2016

Cyclone Vardah tests Chennai's climate resilience

The high intensity Chennai floods of November-December 2015 and the very severe Cyclone Vardah of 12 December 2016 seems to be strengthening the prognosis made in the Tamil Nadu State Action Plan on Climate Change that the state's coast could face climate-related events of increasing intensity. These events tested the Chennai's climate resilience and preparedness, and found them to be inadequate. MORE ...

Falling trees have left a trail of damage in Chennai.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

W(h)ither Kerala's mangroves

With mangroves in Kerala reducing to 25 from 700 in 1957, the efforts by a group of citizens to get remaining patches surveyed and government lands identified holds promise. More than half of the state’s mangrove patches stand on privately owned lands, and thereby conservation is difficult. While the private owners do not have an immediate economic benefit from conservation, the government finds it difficult to deal with private lands. However, even after the citizen’s group has helped government identify mangroves on their lands, the state machinery has not moved towards conservation. MORE … 

The mangrove-encrusted island in the Chettuva river.