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Ingenuity of skating on marshy land by tying a pot to the belly: Living with flood is a way of life

Madhuri,, Tewari, H. R., Bhowmick, P. K.
Environment, development and sustainability 2015 v.17 no.6 pp. 1287-1311
habitats, households, livelihood, risk perception, socioeconomics, watersheds, India
Households do not easily agree to move out of their natural habitat in spite of frequent flooding and loss of life and property because of their attachment to the place and established socio-economic network. This also shapes their risk perception, pre-flood preparedness, and livelihood resilience. In this backdrop, the paper attempts to find out the role of households’ risk perception and their flood preparedness as a mediator between place attachment and livelihood resilience. It further explores different adaptive methods households develop to overcome flooding issues. The study is based on a sample of randomly drawn 472 households from the river basins of Ganga and Kosi in the district of Bhagalpur, Bihar. The mediation analysis and Sobel’s test were used to analyze and interpret the data. The study reveals the role of risk perception and flood preparedness as a partial mediator between the place attachment and livelihood resilience. The households do not perceive flood as a ‘threat’, as they have learnt to ‘live’ with it as ‘a way of life’ because of their attachment to the place, experience of frequent exposure to flooding, and knowledge of local resources.