ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

A+| A| A-

Kuttanad after the Flood

The central and state governments must find a long-term solution for the constant flooding woes of Kuttanad in Kerala.

We recently visited Kuttanad, after the Kerala floods. Kuttanad, in Alappuzha district, is not just another tourist destination. Commonly known as the “Venice of East,” for its rich backwaters and paddy fields set like jewels upon the crown of Alappuzha, it also has unique geographical traits. Situated 2.2 metres below sea level, the abode of Vembanad—the largest lake in the state which stretches from Alappuzha to Ernakulam district and is dotted with houseboats—is also home to a variety of unique flora and fauna. Another peculiarity of this terrain is the four major rivers—Pampa, Manimala, Meenachil, and Achankovil—that run through it. These rivers and lakes help the land abound with fertility and aid water-intensive paddy cultivation. However, these waterbodies also often distress people with constant floods and droughts.

The recent monsoons, which unleashed catastrophe across Kerala, struck Kuttanad harshly, making life for its inhabitants more miserable. Even though Kuttanad has seen worse floods before, this unexpected trauma has left a scar that will take time to heal. The green hues from Kuttanad’s paddy fields were completely wiped out, where 9,907 hectares of paddy fields that were expected to harvest 50,000 tonnes were drowned, amounting to about 90% of the cultivation having been washed out. Roadways were not navigable and rowboats became the mode of transportation, with shortfall of basic amenities making life for its inhabitants even more miserable. People were forced to flee to relief camps and other safe spots, making them “climate refugees,” and even now they continue to nurse fears that all this may happen on a large scale in the region again. Kuttanad was affected drastically, and major efforts are required now to resurrect its tourism industry. Backwater fishing, which constitutes a major source of earning for the people of this region has collapsed too, whereas usually the rainy season is considered to be the season of bounty for the fisherfolk because of the abundance of fish.

Dear Reader,

To continue reading, become a subscriber.

Explore our attractive subscription offers.

Click here

Updated On : 30th Nov, 2018
Back to Top