Floods: impacts on livelihood, economic status and poverty in the north-west region of Pakistan

Abstract

Climate change-induced floods have diversified effects on the physical and economic system of the dwelling societies. These effects mainly hit agricultural livelihood and livestock ending up in poverty. These irreversible damages are associated with high magnitude and frequency of floods, which are common in the South Asian countries. Similarly, Pakistan was hit hard by 2010 floods which were biggest in history as affecting over 20 million people and causing loss of over US$ 10.85 billion. The devastations were extended to rural poor communities of north-western part of Malakand division in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan, which were studied in this research on deploying 500 questionnaires at household level. It was to evaluate the extend of damages to livelihood and economic status of locality. Furthermore, this study tried to analyse the rise in poverty level, compared to the situation before inundating event of 2010. The results of cross-tabulation and logistic regressions confirmed that 1% increase in floods led to 0.44%, 0.31% decrease in livelihood and economic status, respectively. It was also found 1% increase in flooding ended up in 1.947% increase in the poverty level at household level. Further, the loss of livelihood resulted in the economic losses due to damages to crops and livestock and caused rise in poverty. The poverty syndrome was coupled with loss of savings and borrowing of funds that further ruined the economic situation of the locality. Conclusively, the flooding was declared to have posed adverse impacts on sustainable livelihood provision and rise in poverty in the area as not yet addressed through any institutional/governmental intervention.

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Notes

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    This relatively low representation of the female was due to the fact that only 19 females appeared to be at home at the time of data collection so considered as HH representatives, which otherwise were males in 481 cases. However, they posed no effect on overall results as no gender segregated results were presented.

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Acknowledgements

I express my deepest thankfulness to Higher Education Commission (HEC), Government of Pakistan, for the financial support under Thematic Research Grant, Ref: 1-HEC/HRD/HAS/SS/2017/17369.

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Correspondence to Umer Khayyam.

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Khayyam, U. Floods: impacts on livelihood, economic status and poverty in the north-west region of Pakistan. Nat Hazards 102, 1033–1056 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11069-020-03944-7

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Keywords

  • Climate change
  • Flood
  • Vulnerability
  • Livelihood
  • Poverty
  • Sustainability
  • Pakistan