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Short Title

Flooding and Livelihood Resilience in India

Abstract

Flooding is a perennial problem in the state of Bihar, India with devastating impact on the livelihood of people. In spite of the government's measures of flood mitigation, households continue to live with suffering on account of severe damage to their material and non-material assets. In this background, the objectives of the study are: (1) to explore the differential role of the community and government support in livelihood resilience; (2) to assess the impact of flood experience and flood education in livelihood resilience; and (3) to explore the impact of level of education, reflected in average years of schooling of the male-headed households in livelihood resilience. The primary data were collected from 472 households by using a multi-stage random sampling technique over seven blocks in river basins of Ganga and Kosi in the district of Bhagalpur, Bihar. To analyze the data, descriptive statistics and structural equation modeling were used. The findings of the study show that prompt and spontaneous community action was more effective than government help. Flood experience also plays a crucial role in the revamping of livelihood. Flood education is not found to exist in the area; people learn the skills of survival during and after floods from their elders. Moreover, difference in education among the male-headed households creates difference in the attitudes and awareness surrounding livelihood resilience.

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