Perception of risk and coping capacity: A study in Jiadhal Basin, India

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International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, ISSN: 2212-4209, Vol: 21, Page: 376-383

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Arnob Bormudoi; Masahiko Nagai
Elsevier BV
Earth and Planetary Sciences; Social Sciences
article description
The River Jiadhal in North East India experiences huge siltation due to a process of landslides and erosion coupled with heavy rainfall. This normal phenomenon is translated into a disaster when the river breaches the embankments and the villages in the floodplains of the lower basin experience floods. These floods carry highly silted waters and when they leave the floodplains, the agricultural lands remain dumped with sterile sands which prevent the farmers to practice their annual farming activities. The two major communities living in the lower basin have to force themselves to live with this new disaster. This paper investigates the role of perception in their ability to cope with the disaster. Questions were asked about the primary cause of the disaster they perceived to be and this was related to their ability to cope. It was found that when the respondents perceived the cause as understandable and visible, their coping was better. On the other hand when they perceived the cause to be invisible and hidden from their realm of understanding, their coping was low.