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Understanding the Household Perceptions of and Adaptations to Heat Wave: A Case Study

Padmanabha Hota, Bhagirath Behera


This paper makes an attempt to understand household perception of heat waves and identify and analyze the factors influencing their adaptation strategies by using primary data collected from a field study in the Ib Valley coal mining region of Odisha in India, where residents have been experiencing extreme heat waves since last several years. Both logit and multinomial logit model are used to assess the impact of heat waves and to identify factors that influence the adaptation strategies to heat waves respectively. The descriptive statistics show that local pollutants are perceived more than the global pollutants as the cause of heat wave in the region. It is found that households that own adaptation assets are likely to reduce heat related illness in their family members. Socio-economic characteristics of the household such as gender, caste, income, education and land holding size are likely to have significant influence on the adaptation strategies. Male members of the households are more likely to adapt to heat wave than their female counterparts in terms of reducing working hours, avoiding work during heat waves, etc. Social background of the household (Caste) is inversely associated with avoiding work as the adaptation strategy, which suggest that lower caste people do continue to work during extreme heat wave as compared to their richer counterparts. People with higher income are found to be avoiding work during the periods of heat wave. Landholding size is also inversely associated with all the three adaptation strategies, suggesting that poor and landless people are not likely to adapt to the heat waves.


Heat waves; socio-economic; pollutants; perceptions; adaptation; Odisha

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