UNDP India Blogs

      • When There is Too Much Water | Russell Rollason

        31 May 2013

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        Photo: UNDP India

        For the poor farmers living in the flood plains of the Mahanadi River delta in the eastern India state of Odisha, the main rice crop is grown in the dry season because extensive flooding and water logging in the monsoon season prevents sowing the rice at the same time as most of India’s farmers. In this region, climate variability is changing the rainfall patterns and the farmers have to adapt. There is a local saying in Odisha that to get a good crop, you need ‘8 days of summer rains, 16 days of good rain, 32 days of drizzle and 64 days with a light sprinkle.’  These days the framers are getting most of their 1500 mm of annual rain in just 15 days. As a result flooding is more widespread and water logging of fields is lasting longer. In response to the water logging, three villages in Satyabadi Block, about 30 minutes drive from the beach town of Puri, joined hands to hire a local contractor to clean out Kharbar Nala (canal) and reconnect the canal to the river.  This was done to speed up the drainage of water from the rice fields and as a result this year 2100 acres Read More

      • Let There be Sun Shine in Their Lives With Solar Lanterns!! | Chitra Narayanswamy

        17 Oct 2012

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        Hirappa has a green job! He helps in charging & renting out the lanterns. [PHOTO: UNDP INDIA]

        Maheswari and Chandrakala come towards us with beaming smiles. They belong to one of the 250 households housed in the Thubrahalli slum by Kundanahalli gate at Bangalore. The houses are shanties made of mud, bamboo and covered with plastic tarpaulin. Some of the households though are lit with modern energy, LED based solar lanterns. GMRVF, the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) wing of the GMR infrastructure company runs a school in the slum premises housed in 2 permanent structures, while their third housing with sloping roofs operates as an Integrated Energy Center (IEC). The IEC is the first step taken by Selco Foundation to show the slum dwellers an alternate to kerosene for lighting. Solar panels (total capacity of 75 Watts) help to charge 60 such solar lanterns. The slum dwellers rent a lantern every evening for Rs 5/day, handing it to the center operator Hirappa in the mornings for charging. It is also a first step to show the residents their need for better lighting options - easing the burden on kerosene purchases, and eliminating the toxic fumes inhaled as it burns to light the gas lamps. Does the need arise in the shanty next door since it gives them a Read More

      • Fast Facts on India’s Biodiversity Part 2 - Ecosystems and Habitats | Pramod Krishnan

        17 Sep 2012

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        PHOTO: SHASHANK JAYAPRASAD/UNDP India

        India has a wide range of ecosystems and habitats that includes forests, wetlands, grasslands, coasts, marshes and deserts. Almost all the major ecosystem types in the world can be found in India. I have been fortunate to have visited and soaked in the beauty of all these habitats. Forests - India is among the top 10 forested countries in the world. The actual forest cover (as determined through remote sensing during 2008-2009) is about 69.2 million hectares or 21.1 percent of the geographical area (see Figure 3 and Table 1). In addition, estimates suggest the tree cover (patches of trees that are less than one hectare in area and thus not assessed through remote sensing) to be a little over 9 million hectares. Thus, total forest and tree cover in the country is over 78 million hectares, or 23.8 percent of the country’s geographical area (FSI 2011). India’s forests are home to a number of charismatic mammals such as the Royal Bengal Tiger (Panthera tigris tigris), the Asiatic Lion (Panthera leo persica), the Asian Elephant (Elephas maximus), Leopard (Panthera pardus), Wild Water Buffalo (Bubalus arnee), Indian Bison (Bos gaurus) and the Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus). In addition, a number of deer Read More