Re-theorizing livelihoods: Impacts of floods and traditional adaptation practices in Majuli, Assam

By Bikash Chetry

Re-shaping the Brahmaputra valley has been happening due to the twin processes of flood and riverbank erosion in last few decades. At the same time flooding and river bank erosions has been a significant part of natural landscapes of the Brahmaputra valley. Majuli too has been perennially affected by the twin process of flood and riverbank erosion which result to the loss of land by the Brahmaputra river and its tributaries and threatened the traditional livelihood systems of the isle which were dependent on the natural resources have undergone significant changes. On account of which the communities who were traditionally dependent on agriculture, pottery making etc. are forced to migrate due to resource depletion. This paper will attempt to uncover these theoretical concerns to look at how the traditional livelihood insecurity and varied livelihood changes are brought by floods and river bank erosion and its impacts on the communities. Also, the paper would gaze into the significant ingenuity shown by the islander through their livelihood strategies and adaptations practices in agriculture and other tertiary sources. By doing this, it will not only contribute towards the field of livelihood scholarships but also sheds light upon the concerns over island sustainability practices in general.