River Bank Erosion: Gender and Adaptation Processes in Layyah District
Author: Aysha Shafiq

Depletion of wetlands in Pakistan is a significant environmental issue which is caused by global climate changes as well as local factors such as patterns of land use and watershed management issues. Riverine wetlands which include floodplains have been severely affected over several decades because of conversion of riverine forests into agricultural land (Chaudhary, 2010; Smith, 2007). The instability caused by depletion of forests and wetlands has led to problems such as accelerated riverbank erosion. River bank erosion is a natural process associated with river flow but it can become accelerated due to loss of natural plant cover for streams and rivers or due to other disturbances in water regime (Gorrie, 2001). Subsequent high rates of erosion can be hazardous for human settlements. Owing to this phenomenon, riparian communities whose lands are in the immediate proximity to the river live in a perpetual state of risk. In a rural economy, loss of cultivable land has serious consequences. Those who lose their land because of bank erosion have to face displacement and livelihood challenges. Therefore, bank erosion is a potent threat in flood plains. In Pakistan, this phenomenon is common in the lower basin of the Indus River. As the communities in affected areas lose their most important livelihood asset, they tend to adopt various other livelihood strategies for sustenance. This adaptation process is complex and can be protracted over a long period of time. It not only affects but is also embedded in the lives of individuals as well as social structures within a given community. A gender perspective on adaptation helps to identify the deep rooted factors which facilitate or hinder the coping mechanisms and individual efforts of affected women and men to adjust to changing environment and circumstances. Risk situations interact with vulnerability profiles to 2 produce differential disaster impact within an affected community (Wisner et al, 2003). Adaptation can be conceptualized similarly; the process is differentiated across various strata and varies with degrees of vulnerability and resilience. However, it can also transform such social profiles. Because of their transforming potential, adaptation interventions are often regarded as means to achieve development objectives. Governments and development agencies can thus support communities attempting to adapt to disaster or climate change. Supervisor:- Dr. Yasmin Zaidi

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Keywords : Adaptation Processes, Layyah District, River Bank Erosion
Supervisor: Yasmin Zaidi

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