Journal Article

Climate change and climate-induced disasters in Odisha, eastern India: Impacts, adaptation and future policy implications

There is no doubt that climate change and climate-induced disasters pose a significant challenge to poverty reduction, health and development in many developing countries, including India. Odisha’s geographic location on the east coast of India and its climatic condition have meant that the state has historically been highly prone to climate change and multiple hazards, mainly cyclones, droughts and floods. Its fluctuating weather conditions suggest that Odisha is stumbling under climatic chaos. The state has been declared disaster-affected for 95 years of the last 105 years: floods have occurred for 50 years, droughts for 32 years and cyclones have struck the state for 11 years. After independence less importance has been given to the state as well as the development strategies of the state have tended to overlook the climate change, health, poverty related issues. The findings of the study highlight that there is a scarcity of research which can focus on different climatic induced calamity issues. Strong political will, strengthen infrastructures, public private partnership and community involvement and better planning can go beyond risk management to look at actions that address climate change and deliver benefits for growth and development. There is an urgent need to focus on the climate change, disasters and their vulnerability, and adaptation and coping mechanisms among the people in the state. The study recommends for future research and policy advocacy for better solutions and development strategies in the state.