Kerala is a state that is extremely vulnerable to natural disasters and the changing climatic dynamics. The Kerala State Disaster Management Plan has identified 39 hazards and categorized them into naturally triggered hazards and anthropogenically triggered hazards. Floods are the most common natural hazards, with nearly 14.5% of the state’s regions prone to floods, while the percentage is as high as 50% in certain districts.

The August 2018 floods in Kerala created severe damage to the fragile ecosystem of the state, especially the Pampa river, the third longest river in Kerala which majorly flows through the district of Pathanamthitta. About 50 lakh people depend on the Pampa for their daily water needs. Some major wetlands of the Pampa river that are a key source of agriculture and drinking water for the communities living around them have also been severely affected, resulting in the loss of livelihoods for the local communities.

To help these communities regain their livelihoods and reduce their vulnerabilities to the impacts of such natural disasters, WISE, in collaboration with FORD Foundation, is working with the poor and marginalised sections of people in Koipuram village of Pathanamthitta district, with the objective of developing a Resilience Action Plan that would convert the “lessons learned” from the August 2018 (and 2019) floods into sustainable actions, thus making these vulnerable communities more resilient to such disasters in the future. The project is ongoing.