38-year-old Sivasidambaram Vasugi is the General Manager of one of the first cooperative-owned seed paddy processing centers in Killinochchi, Si Lanka. The Integrated Farmers Thrift and Credit Cooperative Society (IFTCCS) provides local farmers with high-quality seeds, but these days, there are no buyers walking in the door.
Her community is facing a crippling water shortage following many months of drought. Nearly 18,000kg of processed paddy seed stock sits unclaimed on Vasugi’s factory floor, while weeds sprout in the paddy fields all around.
“Only when the rains come again, they will buy the seeds,” she says. “In the meantime, we have no sales, and we are not making any profits.” Farming households are coming undone thanks to this drought. Vasugi sees local men migrate to work as day laborers, while their families stay behind and fight to make ends meet. Many merely struggle to put food on the table.
Vasugi lives in a climate hotspot.
Areas like this are the focus of the World Bank’s new regional flagship report South Asia’s Hotspots: The Impact of Temperature and Precipitation Changes on Living Standards.
The report examines how
“These weather events have one thing in common: They affect the lives of the poorest and most vulnerable the most,” said Andrew Goodland, World Bank program leader for Sustainable Development covering Sri Lanka and Maldives.
Speaking at the launch of South Asia’s Hotspots he added: “We need to both scale up actions and strategies to build a more resilient world, and target interventions to help the most vulnerable.”