Help us rebuild our infrastructure damaged due to the cyclone!
Retrofitting biodiverse facilities to strengthen coastal resiliency of Visakhapatnam
Infrastructure performs an important role in sustaining the development of a city. Infrastructure assets at scales like the VSPCA Main shelter (Shelter) and the Kindness Farm (Farm) provide critical health and social services to the city and the surrounding areas where they are located.
It is crucially important to immediately repair the storm-damaged facilities of the shelter — 8 km from Bay of Bengal’s coastline. As developing scenarios suggest, the climate crises are worsening. Also, it is of utmost urgency to retrofit the Farm’s infrastructure – 120 km (interior) west of the coastline.
Kindness Farm is a backup to Visakhapatnam as the shelter because it is a self-sufficient food- and water-shed for Kuruvada region, with all shelter amenities. What’s important to distinguish is that the Farm suffers consequences of flooding from the storm winds and rains, but not the direct battering that coastal facilities suffer. Visakhapatnam needs both facilities.
If the shelter is significantly damaged, the farm can sustain Visakhapatnam’s animal needs temporarily.
Visakhapatnam (city) is vulnerable to climate hazards. The severity of this depends on the frequency and intensity of climate-related events as well as local capacity to anticipate and respond adequately. Cyclones Phalin (2013), Hud Hud (2014), Vardha (2016), Titli (2018), Fani (2019), Amphan (2020) and now the severe “depression” have weakened and damaged property, soil and flora to such an extent that trees at the Shelter are toppling with winds at 55-60 km/hour. Note: – Hud Hud winds were at 200 km/hour.
Visakhapatnam also faces long-term threats in terms of sea-level rise. As per the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) study (2008) Visakhapatnam is among the port cities with high exposure and vulnerability to climate extremes globally.
This crisis and the City’s (and coastal region) vulnerability to climate change is gaining attention recently. Increase in the sea level rise and the frequency and intensity of storms are two primary impacts of climate change faced by coastal communities.
Both Shelter and Farm provide sanctuary to all kinds of animals while employing locals from surrounding areas. VSPCA has provided protection, treatment and care to approximately 2 lakh (234,522) animals in the City in 2020 alone, which include vulnerable Olive Ridley Sea Turtles to the count of ~64,841.
The quality, efficiency and access of VSPCA’s Shelter and Farm to City residents require their retrofitting and maintenance. Loss of these infrastructure facilities will result in wide-spread economic, structural and biodiversity losses to the City.
Pictures and news articles demonstrate the intensity of the damage caused. Firstly repairs are desperately needed; however, along with repairs—retrofitting, drainage and watershed bolstering are urgently needed to stave off natural disasters, while making infrastructure resilient to climate hazards.
- Underground saturation, electrical, borewell, pumps, water-pipes damage: $4200 (US) / ₹3 Lakhs (INR)
- Repairs to facilities, crop destruction and tree replacements: $5500 (US) / ₹4 Lakhs (INR)
- Retrofitting facilities, drains, watershed and surroundings: $12,300 (US) /₹9 Lakhs (INR)