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In Morarji Vasahat, the neighborhood temple and community centers are used for shelter during floods because they are located on higher ground.The temple committee and male volunteers prepare food and other supplies for distribution during evacuations.To help better understand how to build resilience, WRI assessed several neighborhoods using the Urban Community Resilience Assessment (UCRA) tool, developed with support from Cities Alliance’s Joint Work Program on Resilient Cities.
An estimated 1.2 billion people live in unsafe and insecure urban housing.
Many city residents fear climate extremes, but their resilience capacities vary based on gender, age, income and social resources.
Residents have built high plinths to raise their homes above street level and taller thresholds at their doorways to prevent storm water from entering homes.
Residents are also taking special steps to prepare for the monsoons, which are growing less predictable and more intense in South Asia due to climate change.
Each time it rains hard, raw sewage spills into the street.
Hence, residents chose to focus more on waste management in their community workshops as a measure to reduce the impact of floods.There, residents deal with frequent flooding, heavy monsoon rains and extreme heat.But they’re also learning to adapt to these extremes by co-building basic infrastructure and planning for emergencies.The tool can benefit cities in four ways: 1) to tailor early warning systems to meet the needs of vulnerable people; 2) map service gaps in vulnerable neighborhoods; 3) inform long-term resilience planning and build climate-resilient infrastructure; and 4) promote a culture of inclusive planning.One location we analyzed is Surat, India, a coastal city of 4.5 million people.They are waterproofing their roofs by repairing cracks in corrugated metal and adding new plastic sheets. And they’re checking external water tanks and water taps for mosquito infestations and leaks to reduce the risk of vector-borne diseases.In the neighborhood of Ugat, infrastructure is less robust.Some maintain an emergency savings based on the extent of losses incurred in past floods.The women of Morarji Vasahat discuss personal resilience measures like maintaining disaster evacuation bags packed with money, important documents, medicines and other essentials.They require more community garbage bins placed at convenient locations that are designed to manage overspills, so animals don’t get in.Residents complained about animal rearers who let their livestock roam free, adding to their health risks.