Who can understand nature and her ways? While we crib and complain about the heat and lack of rain, there is a part of our country that is flooding with excess rain. While our farmers pray to appease the rain Gods, the farmers of the flood affected states are praying that there is an end to the excessive floods.
The recent floods in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka have left a devastating impact in the lives of thousands of rural farmers and their families. Many rural families have been impacted by this catastrophic event. The experience has been traumatic and very distressing for them.
Floods cost the poor much in terms of damage to houses and property, loss of livestock, and destruction of crops. The poor also pay dearly in terms of ill health, and sometimes loss of life. To add to that, poor people are left to fend for themselves with whatever coping strategies they can muster.
Even though the primary purpose of microfinance is to provide investment capital for micro enterprise development so that clients can grow their income and assets; when catastrophic events like floods occur, a complementary purpose is to assist clients to protect their income and assets from the impact of the crisis.
With their homes gone, rural families have suffered losses to their business assets and may have to suspend their regular income generating activities and hence may default their outstanding payments; a definite setback for rural families who are trying to break the cycle of poverty.