An Overview Of Our Solution
- Population Impacted
- Continent: Asia
260, Public Office Road
Velippalayam, Nagapattinam 611 001
Total land area is 770 acres; 470 acres is cultivable land and 300 acres is waste land. At the initiative's start 170 acres was used for agriculture. The village is 3km off the sea,1.5km off the Manjalaru river and 1km off the Maruthamtallam canal.
Local resources the community depends on, and for what purpose
Local threats to resources
Level of sensitivity
Level of adaptive capacity
The solution was designed to improve the community?s hazard risk management and improve food security by combining implementation of a technology measure with institution building, development of a sound O&M process, and capacity development on CCA, DRR and O&M at community level. As an adaptation pilot project in Kumarakudi a 1km long coastal bund was built and a shutter was constructed where the irrigation canals meet the river. The bund encompasses all agricultural fields of the village. Building on existing dunes, which however provided insufficient protection, a 3 metres high and 8 metres wide bund was from stiff clay, hard red earth and gravely. Undergrowth was planted on the slopes to prevent erosion, while at the same time providing new habitat for flora and fauna. Additionally, a shutter was placed on the north-western confluence of the fields? irrigation canal and the Manjal River to control flows in- and outflows of water. The coastal bund and shutter construction protect the village?s ecosystem and agricultural fields from saltwater intrusion and damages during storm surges and backwater flooding. It will allow the groundwater to regenerate over the monsoon season. A CTF was formed which in charge of implementing the pilot project and managing the O&M process, and it promotes additional adaptation measures in the village. The community has decided that the farmers, the village development committee and the Panchayat are responsible of the O&M of the bund and shutter and have defined their respective roles and timelines. The capacities of the CTF, the Panchayat Raj Institutions, self-help groups, youth, association members and direct beneficiaries to support and contribute to adaptation decision making and implementation were strengthened through meetings and orientation sessions, tailored training in the village on CCA/CCM/DRR and training on pilot project implementation, operation and maintenance (O&M). Local committees and authorities have been supported through workshops and bilateral support in integrating the results of the V&NA and of potential adaptation measures in local development strategies and planning documents, including the Village Disaster Management Plan (VDMP) and the District Disaster Management Plan (DDMP).
Economic Indicators used to measure benefit
this is equivalent to a monetary benefit from harvest sales of approximately INR 1 million. The community expects the harvest to increase to 30 bags per acre in the coming years once the salinity levels will have dropped further.
Community/Social Indicators used to measure benefit
- Agriculture land protected from floods an salt water infiltration in hectar - Increase in harvest in comparison to the previous years in tons of harvest or money equivalent per year - Number of community members attending training workshops Number of community members attending meetings (CTF, village meetings with authorities etc.)
- Pilot project implementation cost: INR 991,630. AdaptCap share: INR 911,630. Community share: INR 80,000. - Cost for AdaptCap partners (implementation of trainings, site visits, meetings etc.): INR 20,220 - Pilot O&M cost: Average monthly O&M cost: Rs 4,833. The village disaster committee, farmers and farmers associations will cover around 50% of the expenses through regular contributions; the Panchayat will covere expenses for cleaning of drainage channel. Expenses for greater repairs will be covered by the Village Panchayat under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA).
Ecological Indicators used to measure benefit
- Expected increase in harvest worth INR 1-2 million in food products annually. - New income opportunities for villagers including women in construction as well as O&M of the bund and shutter (e.g., bund planting and weeding, control walks, bund repairs etc.) - Avoided costs through reduced need for: relief and reconstruction measures; biodiversity loos; purchase of freshwater / drinking water from external sources for irrigation and household use; medical care; need for costly day labour migration
What were/are the challenges your community faced in implementing this solution?
- Agriculture land protected from floods an salt water infiltration in hectare - Increase in harvest in comparison to the previous years in tons of harvest or money equivalent per year
Describe the community-based process used to develop the solution including tools and processes used
The solution was developed through participatory vulnerability and needs assessment (V&NA) conducted in the community in summer 2011. The V&NA and the subsequent implementation of the solution described below took place in the framework of the project AdaptCap ? Strengthening Adaptation Capacities and Minimizing Risks of Vulnerable Coastal Communities. Started in December 2010 and financed by the European Commission, AdaptCap is implemented in Tamil Nadu as a partnership between AVVAI Village Welfare Society and the Indo-German Environment Partnership Programme of Deutsche Gesellschaft fï¿½r internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ-IGEP), supported by the international partners ICLEI ? Local Governments for Sustainability, South Asia and the Germany-based think tank and consultancy adelphi. AVVAI has a long-standing relationship with the Kumarakudi community, having supported DRR strategies and measures since the Tsunami hit the village in 2004 before AdaptCap started. The V&NA was implemented using methods and tools from participatory rural appraisal, enabling local community members to articulate and enhance their knowledge in all assessment and decision making steps. Special attention was paid to the needs of marginalized groups, especially women, e.g., through the involvement of the village?s women?s groups. As part of the V&NA process the community developed a social map illustrating the location of social institutions in the village, a resource map on the geographic distribution of the village?s resource base and a timeline on key events including climate events in the past. Through structured interviews, focus group discussions and transact walks through the village the community identified key climate hazards which had affected them in the past, as well as the impacts these hazards have had on the village?s ecosystems and livelihoods. In Kumarakudi the community identified salinization of groundwater as impact to be addressed as first priority, followed by salinization of surface water, salinization of land, scarcity of water for livestock and occupational problems. Subsequently community members developed and prioritised ideas on measures to address these impacts. Priority was given to the construction / strengthening of coastal belt / river bund; shutter construction; set up solar lighting in community hall, public places and temples; pond sand filter with solar energy; surface water treatment system and renovation of pond / tank / reservoir. Capacity building needs on CCA, DRR and climate change mitigation (CCM) were identified as well. A community task force (CTF) was formed to support the further process of developing concrete adaptation activities and a pilot project for the village. The CTF comprised of local farmers, women Self help Group members, elected representatives i.e. representatives of Panchayati raj institutions. The primary data was enriched through secondary data collected by the AdaptCap partners from local institutions and departments and through desk research. In an initial screening the partners narrowed the proposed measures down to three with the highest potential for reducing climate change impacts and developed technology factsheets on locally available / transferable solutions for the most promising initiatives. On this basis the CTF supported by AVVAI developed Expressions of Interest for the three most promising solutions, which were then assessed by the project partners in a transparent process against criteria for vulnerability reduction, local acceptance, feasibility and cost, as well as positive and negative side effects. The selected pilot technology (coastal and river bund strengthening and installation of a shutter) was further adapted to the local context in meetings, discussions and site visits with the CTF. To select suppliers for implementation, Terms of Reference and a shortlist of local suppliers were developed. An implementation strategy was developed with the community wherein the roles of the communities, contractor, local authorities and technical experts were clearly discussed and defined. A community resolution on the pilot project served to increase sustainability and ownership. Local authorities (Panchayat) and planning institutions (e.g., District Collectors) were involved in meetings, discussions, site visits and shared learning dialogues to strengthen local ownership and facilitate replication and mainstreaming of the pilot initiative. The results of the V&NA and potential adaptation measures were included in local planning documents including Village Disaster Management Plans and District Disaster Management Plans. The community implemented the pilot project described below together with local suppliers and supported the AdaptCap partners in 2012 and is implementing regular O&M since then.
Climate hazard of concern
How does your solution reduce the exposure of and buffer/protect the ecosystem affected?
The coastal bund and shutter reduce the local ecosystem?s exposure to storm surges and backwater inflow, thus protecting flora and fauna near the shoreline against damages and salinization. Since the salt water intrusion due to high tide is a regular phenomenon, therefore there is a lot of stress on the local ecosystem and it has considerable reduced after the implementation of the coastal bund and shutter.
How has your solution increased the capacity of the ecosystem to adapt to potential climate changes?
As ecosystems can strengthen and revive now, they will be able to recover more quickly should saltwater intrusion occur in the future.
How does your solution reduce the exposure of and buffer/protect the communities affected?
The coastal bund and shutter reduce the community?s exposure to storm surges and backwater inflow, thus protecting agricultural fields, drinking water sources, livestock, housing and infrastructure from damages and salinization.
How does your solution reduce the sensitivity of the communities affected?
The V&NA, capacity development on CCA, DRR and CCM and the institution building at community level has made the community and local authorities more aware of what causes their sensitivity to climate change impacts and how to increase resilience. In fact, a pond renovation project, among the ideas on adaptation measures developed during the V&NA, has already been proposed and accepted for funding by Kumarakudi?s Panchayat president. The project will improve the cleanliness and structure of the fresh water pond for village drinking, bathing, washing, and irrigation. Villagers will be able to link the freshwater canal running from the pond into their newly protected agricultural fields. The project will contribute to further protecting local ecosystems, people?s livelihoods and contribute to climate-proofing the development of Kumarakudi.
How has your solution increased the capacity of local communities to adapt to potential climate changes?
The shutter allows the community to manage saltwater inflow if it is occurs: they are able to block saltwater intrusion from agricultural fields and channel water into drainage areas. Furthermore, through workshops and training the awareness and capacity of community members with regard to CCA has been strengthened considerably. The community now understands the impacts of climate change on their village, is aware of key issues which render them vulnerable and has implemented ideas like crop rotation and decreasing their dependency on paddy only, besides the pilot project to reduce villager?s vulnerability. The integration of climate hazards, expected impacts and adaptation options into the VDMP and the DDMP facilitates a proactive management of climate risks in the village and district in the future.
Can this solution be replicated elsewhere?
The major challenge for implementation actually were climate and weather challenges: the renovation of the bund had to be stopped and postponed several times due to heavy rains during project implementation. Thanks to the strong ownership of the project by the community as well as the comprehensive and agreed on O&M process, the risk that the pilot project will become dysfunctional is limited. The bund is constructed in a way as to withstand even major hurricanes. In the current O&M plan the costs for O&M are not yet fully covered: there is gap in financing of INR 10.000 annually; the community is currently looking into solutions to cover this gap. Funding for major repairs has been agreed with the Panchayat to be financed under the National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme (NREGS). Apart from the climate and weather challenges, the ownership of the community across all sections was also difficult due to local politics. The participatory and open processes and ensuring engagement of all sections to conduct vulnerability needs assessment and prioritisation of solutions helped to build the ownership.