MSSRF and EQUINOCT recently conducted a two-day workshop in North Paravur, Kerala, to co-create resilience to protect the lives and livelihoods of coastal communities from periodic high-tide flooding. The workshop was inaugurated by Hibi Eden, MP, who said that more scientific studies are needed to assess the impact of the floods. Dr. Shakeela V., Director of MSSRF, presided over the workshop. Former Finance Minister T.M Thomas Isaac, the chief guest and keynote speaker, said that innovative solutions are required to ensure safe and secure sanitation in flood-prone regions in the State.
Other speakers at the workshop included Dr. R. Ramasubramanian, Senior Fellow – Coastal Systems Research at MSSRF, who presented on the impact of climate change on high tide flooding in Kerala; Mr. Nagarajan R, Head – GIS & Remote Sensing at MSSRF, who spoke about the importance of mapping of mangroves; Dr. K G Sreeja, Research Director at EQUINOCT, who spoke about Community Sourced Modelling Solutions; and Dr. Manjula Bharati, Dean of the School of Habitat Studies at TISS, Mumbai, who presented on counter-hegemonic discourses in environmental governmentality among coastal communities.
The workshop also featured a drama titled “Chevitorma” performed by the community, directed by Dr. Sreejith Ramanan, HOD, School of Drama, Thrissur. The drama was about the sufferings and pains created in the physical and spiritual environment of the common people living in the area.
The second day of the workshop was presided over by Smt. Rosy Joshy, Panchayat President, Puthenvelikkara. Dr. Sekhar Kuriakose, Member Secretary, KSDMA, gave a special address. Presentations were given by Dr. C.G. Madhusoodhanan, CEO, EQUINOCT Community Sourced Modelling Solutions L, Dr Manjula Bharathy, Dean, School of Habitat Studies, TISS, Mumbai, and Mr. Gopinath Parayil, Co-founder and Director, Resilient Destinations Foundation.
The workshop concluded with concluding remarks by Smt Usha Bindumol, Dy Collector, and CEO, DDMA Ernakulam, and a vote of thanks by Mr. M.P. Shajan, Development Associate, M S Swaminathan Research Foundation, Ernakulam & Coordinator, CRC Puthenvelikkara.
In the afternoon, a video documentary titled “Climate Resilience: Life as Told by Women” was screened. The documentary was directed by Sajan/Bindu/Abhijit.
The workshop concluded with a call for action to build community resilience to high tide flooding in Kerala. The participants agreed that scientific studies are needed to assess the impact of the floods, and that community-centred approaches are essential to building resilience. They also agreed that mapping of mangroves and gender counter-mapping can be valuable tools in this effort.
MSSRF and EQUINOCT are committed to working with coastal communities in Kerala to build resilience to high tide flooding. The workshop in North Paravur was an important step in this process, and the participants are confident that the lessons learned will be valuable in the years to come.
This is a joint project of MSSRF and EQUINOCT, in partnership with Community Resource Centre, Puthenvelikkara; TISS, Mumbai; SNMIMT, Maliankara, LSGD departments, and District Disaster Management Authority.
The workshop was attended by representatives from coastal communities, government agencies, academic institutions, and non-governmental organizations. The workshop discussed a range of topics related to tidal flooding, including the impact of climate change, the importance of mangroves, and community-centred approaches to resilience building.
We look forward to continuing our work with coastal communities in Kerala to build resilience to high-tide flooding. We believe that this is a shared responsibility, and we are committed to working together to make a difference.