There are a number of socio-economic reasons for disparities in vulnerability. During the times of natural disasters of very high magnitude like tsunami, understanding the vulnerability and causes of vulnerability is much more important for rehabilitation. With vast territory, large population and unique geo-climatic conditions, Indian sub-continent is exposed to natural catastrophes traditionally. Even today the natural hazards like floods, cyclones, droughts and earthquakes are not rare or unusual phenomenon in India. While the vulnerability varies from region to region, a large part of the country is exposed to such natural hazards which often turn into disasters causing significant disruption of socio-economic life of communities leading to loss of life and property.
The micro-zonation of surveys of large affected area falling in the disaster prone regions and preparing appropriate preparedness and mitigation plan is an urgent need. The investigation of the vulnerability factors and their linkage and interdependencies is very much needed to design appropriate disaster preparedness strategy. Therefore, the current investigation is proposed to study the vulnerability context of people who suffer more life and material losses, and preparation of micro-level information for the district which is affected badly during the tsunami.
Nagapattinam district of Southern state of Tamil Nadu is reportedly one of the most badly affected districts in terms of lives and material losses. The tsunami has affected 73 villages, 1, 96,100 populations, damaged 36,860 houses and killed more than 6000 people.
The broad objectives of the research are to be focused on in-depth understanding of the causes for vulnerabilities such as physical, social, economical, environmental factors and identification of potentially vulnerable individuals or elements. The research also aims to prepare a micro plan, vulnerability atlas for Nagapattinam, one of the worst tsunami hit districts of Tamil Nadu. The specific research objectives of the research are to:
- Map the risks and vulnerabilities of the people affected by tsunami
- Understand the causes and consequences of such risks and vulnerabilities
- Identify and develop appropriate indicators for risks and vulnerabilities
- Prepare a risk and vulnerability atlas and contingency plan for the district
Secondary data collection from the government departments and the NGOs working in the district and primary data collection using interview schedules and focused group discussions covering the areas such as:
- Physical vulnerability factors such as location, technical construction type and quality of the settlements and buildings, population growth and density;
- social factors like education, participation of civil society, social organizations and institutions, legal framework, politics, corruption, gender aspects, minorities, dependent population, traditional knowledge systems, access to information and social networks, etc;
- economic factors like socioeconomic status, poverty, food insecurity, access to infrastructure, finance, etc;
- Environmental factors such as soil, usable water, vegetation will be collected from both secondary and primary sources.
Participatory Rural Appraisal techniques such as social and resource mapping, seasonality mapping, problem tree analysis, transect walk, wealth ranking etc to elicit required information.