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Assessing social vulnerability in Lalbakaiya, Ratu and Balan watershed of Nepal
Amrit Prasad Sharma

Last modified: 2017-08-24


The characteristics and circumstances of a community, system, or asset that make it susceptible to the damaging effects of a hazard is vulnerability (UNISDR, 2009). Social vulnerability is a complex set of characteristics that includes societal wellbeing, livelihood and resilience, self-protection, social protection, and social and political networks and institutions (Cannon et al. 2003). So, social vulnerability is “a multidimensional concept that helps to identify those characteristics and experiences of communities (and individuals) that enable them to respond and recover from natural hazardsâ€. This study has been done in three watersheds in Churia area of Nepal, viz., Lalbakaiya, Ratu and Balan. A total of 100 field surveys were carried that covered 239 communities in the watershed spread in nine districts Makawanpur, Bara, Rautahat, Sindhuli, Mahottari, Dhanusha, Saptari, Siraha and Udayapur.  For vulnerability assessment, key eight parameters were considered which are loss/damage from hazard; resource capacity; disaster risk reduction initiatives; land ownership; food sufficiency; occupation; energy consumption, and literacy. Weightage to each selected eight parameters were provided, based on which vulnerability ranking was calculated for each studied locations. The calculation depicted Bhirkot village from Labakaiya, Singahi village from Ratu and Kalyanpur Nayabasti village from Balan as the most vulnerable locations with the vulnerability value of 79.12, 77.03 and 73.69 respectively. On the basis of identified result, flow-chart of cause and effect relation of Churia ecosystem was developed as a useful option for conservation of Churia area.

Key words: Social vulnerability assessment, watershed, Churia area

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