Ecology Coursework Paper on Measuring Household Resilience to Floods

Measuring Household Resilience to Floods

  1. In Mekong River Delta, flood is a common occurrence. Most of the people have become used to the effects of the floods for several years. It is evident that continued rise in sea level due to weather changes will accelerate the risk of flooding in Mekong River Delta. In the year 2000, the worst flood levels of more than 3 meters occurred. It affected approximately 4.5 million residents of the flooded area.
  2. The massive flood was associated with the fast climatic change at the beginning of the 21st century. The flooding affected millions of people through devastation of crops such as, rice. The floods caused serious destruction of property and affected the general economy of the community. In 2009, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment reported an expected rise in sea level by 75cm by the end of the 21st century.
  3. Resilience is gauging of the strength of the ecological systems to accommodate changes in the climate. The ecological system should be able to revive from the impact of floods and sustain the demands of livelihood in the ecosystem. Resilience entails three key purposes of its study. First is the ability to manage quick recovery from the disturbances caused by the hazard. The second is the extent of the disturbance compared with the already set structures to control it. Finally is the capacity to study and develop new measures to deal with the effects of floods.
  4. The study used three communities and was meant to establish the socioeconomic status of the people around Mekong River Delta. The study majored on the qualitative approach. The interviews were viewed as qualitative because it was based on the in-depth interviews. The researchers interviewed key respondents as well as conducting focus group discussions. They also made field observation to acquire the necessary data that would not be got from the informants.
  5. The authors applied different techniques to make the interviews qualitative. They conducted 10 detailed interviews in each community. It included all the social classes and gender balance was considered. The interview of people in different social class ensured the data reflected the views of all classes. Gender biasness was also eliminated as the authors focused equally on all the genders. This was elaborate interview to qualify the data to be qualitative in developing questionnaires for survey.
  6. The authors applied different research techniques in their study on household resilience. They used the Likert scales and dichotomous reactions to develop questionnaires. These methods of research were used to measure the level of resilience on the residents around Mekong River Delta. They argued that they were suitable methods for analysis of complex research concepts. However, due to diversity in the floods regime, further studies were necessary to incorporate these changes on the measures of resilience.
  7. The two methods were the best for use in their studies. The multiple approaches made the data more reliable on the mind of the researcher. It also ensured the measure was detailed and precise to the objectives of the authors. The Likert scales were the best for determining the people’s resilience to trauma. Moreover, it was approved for accurate measure of resilience to institutional changes among individuals. The residents around Mekong River Delta faced the effects of the floods annually. A more subjective approach needed to be employed to measure the capacity to adapt and gain from the occurrence of the floods.
  8. The poor felt more vulnerable to the effects of the floods because of various reasons. The floods destroyed most of the crops leading to low harvest. The poor lacked adequate food supply due to the food insecurity and they had little income to manage the situation. Additionally, the poor relied much on collecting fish and other aquatic valuables during flood season. During large floods, the strong winds disrupted their basic activities. Their houses were also destroyed and they had no ability to relocate.
  9. The authors stratified the population into three groups, the poor, medium income earners and the better off residents. The occurrence of floods was beneficial to the medium income and the better off individuals. The poor used to collect the golden snails during flooding because it involved less capital and workforce. The medium income and the rich individuals operated the business of the snails collected by the poor. They earned a lot of income from the business hence feeling less vulnerable to the effects of flood.
  10. Despite the challenges faced by the poor, they felt less vulnerable to the effects of floods. They engaged in collection of valuable aquatic creatures such as, crabs and golden snails. The flooding brought many fish, which they caught and used as food resource. They sold their collections to the rich and earned some income to sustain them during harsh conditions.
  11. The collection of golden snails required less capital and labor. This is because the poor would use small and motorboats to access many places for collection of the snails. The poor in the society were able to acquire the motorboats, which boosted their collections. Less labor was needed because even the children and old people would earn a lot of income from daily collections.
  12. Due to occurrence of large flood annually, the farmers developed new farming techniques to suit the environment. The medium income and better-off farmers benefited from the wet areas. They cultivated Neptunia prostrate (an aquatic vegetable). They practiced duck and fish farming, which performed well in such environments. They also grew prawns during the period of flood thereby changing flooded areas into farming fields. However, this was not suitable for the poor because they were landless and the activity required land and huge capital investment.
  13. The small floods were bad for the poor because their level of income reduced greatly. This is associated with the low water level, which alters the quantity of fish. It also affects the amount of collection of golden snails due to presence of weak winds to move the valuables to the shores.