Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Invitation to State Level Consultation on Flood Management in Odisha


23rd October 2011 at Bhubaneswar

Dear Friends/Co-sailors,

Greetings from Water Initiatives Odisha (WIO), Orissa Development Action Forum(ODAF) and FCFC !

As already written to you, the mega floods of September, that has shook the state and its economy, has really called for serious attention of all in the state, especially those who are seriously concerned about the state and its development.  

WIO responded to the flood situation from the day one and has got tremendous support from all of you.  The govt., several civil society organisations, political parties and even individuals are engaged in relief and rehabilitation works.  We salute all who have responded to this devastation that our state has faced.  

However, as WIO has already said, floods are beyond relief and rehabilitation.  Time has come to discuss flood management thread bare and across the state.  WIO, which has been looking into floods and related issues for over two decades already, has started the process of a grassroots debate on floods and the response has been very encouraging.  Many of our member organisations and individuals are taking up this initiative at their respective district levels and we encourage all of you to take up this much needed endeavour in the voluntary spirit in which WIO and its members have engaged themselves in this task.

This year, from the day we sent out our First Flood Update, we have been receiving requests and advises from many of our members as well as other concerned people to have a state level consultation on the floods.  In fact, as we have already mentioned in almost all of our previous mailers, we have also realized that a vacuum exists in the flood management system of our state and we need to initiate a dialogue between all concerned and involved.  We are dedicated to take this forward.  

This mail is therefore to inform you that we are planning a 'State Level Consultation on Flood Management in Odisha: Learning from the past and charting future strategy" at Bhubaneswar on 23rd of this month.  

If you are involved in issues of floods and other disasters and have some experience and ideas to share, please do let us know.  We are planning to bring together people from flood affected areas, practitioners engaged in flood related actions/programmes, civil society groups who are into flood and disaster management issues, relevant govt. officials, technical and other experts who have got some experience and expertise to share.  

We are envisaging a constructive dialogue process to start in the state towards a better flood management practice so that flood vulnerabilities will be reduced to a large extent.  

Once again: we are not among those who believe that floods can be controlled completely. Rather, we believe in 'living with floods' with proper coping and adaptation measures.

Please write back if you are interested to be part of this event and process and we shall send in further details about the Consultation, venue and other aspects.

Look forward to your kind and valuable contribution to this first-of- its- kind initiative in the state.

Thanks and regards,

Ranjan Panda                                                                                                                     Dr. William Stanley
Convenor, WIO                                                                                                                 ODAF/FCFC


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