Friday, August 26, 2011

Drought Update I from WIO - 27th August 2011

Drought Update I from Water Initiatives Odisha
27th August 2011

Dear co-sailors,

Fifteen years ago, Water Initiatives Odisha(WIO) had started the habit of compiling Drought and Flood Updates for the state of Odisha and we used to share these among people, policy makers, media, academicians and other concerned.  That time we did it through print papers and distributed photocopied updates.  After continuing the effort for a few years, we could not keep up with the pace of the droughts, floods and disasters and stopped the effort a decade back.  However, we kept on sending occasional updates from time to time via the internet and also through our print publications.  Our friends and well-wishers have been asking us to start it again and we have too realised that the need for regular updates has become more vital than ever before with drought and disasters assuming new and gigantic proportions under new conditions of rapid industrialization and climate change.  We are thus resuming the effort.

The format would however be the same: a simple compilation of news and views on drought and related issues sourced from newspapers, research reports, field studies and all other sources we can have access to.  We keep it simple also to reach out to maximum number of people possible. 

At the moment, it’s occasional and we may come up with these updates as and when we can, given our limited manpower and resources.  However, with your inputs and support, we are sure; we shall be able to ensure regular flow of this update. 

We request you to send in your reports of activities, your views; and any other interesting and relevant article, books, photographs, and anything that you feel we should cover in this Update.  It’s YOU who is the most important FUEL of this effort.

Look forward to listen from you and your continued support.
Thanks and regards,

Ranjan Panda
Convenor, Water Initiatives Odisha

Another farmer commits suicide!

Samir Kumar Nayak of Ramtileimal village in Kuchinda sub-division of Sambalpur district was just 25 when he killed himself owing to failure of his crops.  Samir was the only son of Pankaj Kumar Nayak who has been leading a paralyzed life due to illness for some years now.  Samir took over to farming when he father could not manage anymore because of two consecutive drought years.  He consumed pesticide on 17th of this month and was hospitalized; succumbed to death on 26th.  Samir inherited a cooperative loan amounting to Rs.83280/- from his father and had borrowed another Rs.50000/- from private sources.  He also had another loan of Rs.25000/- from the State Bank of India.  Failed crops and an absence of any support system has resulted in Samir taking this extreme step.  In the meanwhile the government of Odisha is still calculating the effect of drought to be able to declare ‘drought prone areas’!
(Sourced from Dharitri, 27th August 2011)


Opposition demands white paper on drought situation in Orissa

Claiming that agricultural activities were badly hit in 19 of the 30 districts in Orissa due to erratic rainfall, opposition Congress and BJP today asked the government to issue a white paper on the situation.

Raising the issue during zero hour, opposition members sought special package for farmers and declaration of drought in the state."I am surprised the state government is yet to undertake eye estimation of crop loss due to erratic rains,"said leader of opposition Bhupinder Singh of Congress.

Stating that the government had no specific policy to deal with the situation, Congress member S S Saluja claimed that farmer suicide cases were being reported in the state due to lack of protection for the agrarian community.

"Government should immediately release special package for farmers without waiting for the eye estimation report on crop loss due to inadequate rainfall,"said BJP legislature party leader K V Singhdeo adding farmers need adequate assistance to ensure survival of the standing crop.

Earlier, Revenue and Disaster Management minister S N Patro while replying a written question, said that the state government had already asked the district collectors to submit eye estimation report on crop loss by August 31.


Samajwadi Party Orissa unit demands pension for farmers

The Orissa unit of the Samajwadi Party today demanded the state government to pay a monthly pension of Rs 3,000 to every farmer and fix the Minimum Support price of paddy at Rs 1,500 per quintal to prevent the farmers committing suicide and as a measure to combat the drought. In a memorandum to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Speaker P K Amat, the party also demanded the government to provide interest free loan, fertiliser and seed to farmers free of cost for the rabi crop and undertake massive work under the MNREGS to check migration. The party demanded that an all party meeting be held under the Chairmanship of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to put pressure on the Prime Minister to announce a special package for the drought hit districts of Orissa Party president Rabi Behera demanded arrest all those who were involved in the loan,seeds and fertiliser scam. Prior to the submission of the memorandum the party activists held a demonstration in front of the state Assembly here in support of their demands.


Met Speaks

-          From 0830 to 1730 hours IST of today, fairly widespread rainfall has occurred over Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gangetic West Bengal and Telangana; scattered over Haryana, Uttarakhand, Gujarat, east Rajasthan and isolated over rest parts of the country outside Punjab and Tamilnadu where weather remained mainly dry . The chief amounts of rainfall (2 cm and above) recorded at 1730 hours IST of today are: Chandrapur12, Bilaspur8, Bhubaneshwar7, Nizamabad and Bramhapuri5 each, Udaipur, Kota, Balasore, Betul and Angul 3 each, Dehradun, Mahabaleshwar, Ranchi, Port Blair, Dharmsala, Sambalpur, Meerut, Wardha, Narsinghapur and Agumbe 2 each.

-          Kalpana1 cloud imagery at 1730 hours IST shows convective clouds over parts of Rajasthan, ujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa, northeastern states, interior Maharashtra, north Andhra Pradesh, north interior Karnataka, Kerala, Tamilnadu, Bay of Bengal, Andaman Sea and Arabian Sea. Low/medium clouds are seen over rest parts of the country.

Source: India Meteorological Department’s All India Weather Bulletin (Night) for 26th August 2011
Water Initiatives Odisha: Fighting water woes, combating climate change... more than two decades now!

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Water Initiatives Odisha (WIO) is a state level coalition of civil society organisations, farmers, academia, media and other concerned, which has been working on water, environment and climate change issues in the state for more than two decades now.

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