Coastal belt of Puri, Odisha: Livelihood Crisis and Gender disparity coexist
The coastal crisis in Puri, Odisha has been a matter of concern for the locals, especially the fishing community. With the increasing frequency of natural disasters, including cyclones and floods, the coastal belt has been facing a significant threat to the lives and livelihoods of the people living there. According to recent climate crisis data, the situation has worsened in 2022 and 2023.
Loss Of Livelihood and Hope
One of the most affected communities in Odisha’s coastal belt is the fishing community. The coastal district of Puri is home to more than 1,500 fishing villages. Furthermore, the community relies heavily on the sea for their livelihoods. However, the increasing frequency of natural disasters is making it difficult for them to sustain their lives.
‘We used to fish throughout the year, but now we can only fish for a few months,’ says Surya Narayan Behera, a fisherman from the Puri district.
The impact of the coastal crisis on the fishing community in Puri has been severe. With the increased frequency of natural disasters and the depletion of natural resources such as mangrove forests and coral reefs, the fish catch has reduced considerably. This has resulted in a loss of livelihood for the fishermen who depend on fishing for their daily sustenance. The fishermen are also facing difficulty in accessing basic amenities like clean water, food, and healthcare, which has further affected their lives.
Gender Disparity Adding On
Moreover, the coastal crisis has led to increased gender disparity, with women bearing the brunt of the crisis. Women in Puri are often the most vulnerable during natural disasters and are disproportionately affected due to gender inequality. During disasters, women face additional challenges such as lack of access to clean water and sanitation facilities, loss of livelihood, and increased risk of gender-based violence. The lack of proper infrastructure and facilities further exacerbates the challenges faced by women during the coastal crisis.
The mismanagement and failed policies have also worsened the situation. Despite being an expert in climate disaster mitigation, the government’s policies have failed to address the critical issues faced by the coastal communities. The lack of infrastructure such as evacuation shelters and road networks has resulted in the loss of lives and increased vulnerability during natural disasters.
The coastal crisis in Puri has had a severe impact on the lives and livelihoods of the fishing community, with women being disproportionately affected due to gender inequality. The situation has worsened in 2022 and 2023, with mismanagement and failed policies exacerbating the crisis. Urgent action is required to address the critical issues faced by the coastal communities and to develop effective policies to protect the lives and livelihoods of the affected communities. The government needs to prioritize the development of infrastructure such as evacuation shelters and road networks to ensure that people can access basic amenities during disasters.
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