More than half the world’s population now live in urban areas and cities, and Gorakhpur city is no different. Located in eastern Uttar Pradesh at the confluence of rivers Rapti and Rohin, it has grown rapidly into an economic and institutional hub in the region. Susceptible to floods and water logging, its problems have been further exacerbated by climate uncertainties, impacting the livelihoods of poor and marginalized communities. The small and marginal farmers, in city’s peripheral areas, become particularly more vulnerable, as farming no longer remains a viable option for many.

With the support of The Rockefeller Foundation, Gorakhpur Environmental Action Group (GEAG), an NGO based in Gorakhpur undertook an initiative that sought to mitigate flood risks through maintenance of open spaces by strengthening peri-urban agriculture based livelihoods around the city. The strategy was to enhance peri-urban agriculture that would also serve as a means to keep areas that are vulnerable to flooding, free from construction and to maintain their natural functions that include enhancing water storage & infiltration, reducing run off  and much more. And result in less floods and reduced impacts of high rainfall.

Did the strategy work? A glimpse of how these farmers fared, and a look at their unique & successful experience…

This is the first series of real life stories of peri-urban farmers, originally featured in the booklet ‘Peri-Urban Agriculture & Ecosystems: Resilient Narratives’ by Gorakhpur Environmental Action Group (GEAG), 2016

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