Collection of firewood for daily use is common among the weaker section of the society
Climate Change and Socio-economic condition of the people, especially those whose economics mainly depend on agricultural sectors, are closely related. While extreme climate events can have a profound impact on the overall economic production and the health of the environment, poverty of the people can also have profound effects, not only on environment but also on the economic growth of the state due to excessive dependence on the natural resources by the people and less capacity to adapt. The fall out of such variability will have greater impact on a state such as Manipur where its economy mostly depend on the natural resources and prevailing climatic conditions.
In the last few decades, the state of Manipur experiences a surge of population growth which is on the higher side. From 7.80 lakhs in 1961, the population of the state increase to 28.56 lakhs in 2011 comprising of 14.39 lakhs of males and 14.7 lakhs of females and the child population in the age group of 0-6 years stands at 3.38 lakhs. The density of population of Manipur as per 2011 census was 128 persons per sq. km. The sex ratio for the state as a whole has improved from 974 females per 1000 males in 2001 to 985 female per 100 males in 2011. The population growth rate of Manipur in 2011 is 24.50% as against all India growth rate of 17. 70%. The literacy rate has increased from 70. 50% in 2001 to 76. 94% in 2011. Among the males, it has increased from 80. 30% in 2001 to 83 .58% in 2011, whereas among females, it has increased from 60. 50% in 2001 to 70. 26% in 2011. The urban population of Manipur has increased by 0.3 million between 2001 and 2011 with a decadal growth of 43% which is alarming.
The sudden increase in population couple with poorer economic condition and illiteracy can aggravate the adverse impact of climate change. Thus, when we try to understand the growth of population with climate change, it is important to take into account the various section of the society and the kind of settlement they have, as those are an important determinant of climate change adaptive capacity. The bulk of population in Manipur are predominantly in rural areas and they constitute about two third of the State total population. Among them, tribal constitute about 40. 88 % and scheduled caste constitute about 3.41 % of the total population of the state. Most of the people in the state engaged in agricultural sector for their livelihood.
As per Census 2011, the total number of workers (who have worked for at least one day during the reference years) in Manipur, is 11.59 lakhs. Of this 6.65 lakhs workers are males and 4.93 lakhs are females. Out of 11.59 lakhs total workers, 8.55 lakhs are main workers and the remaining 3.04 lakhs are marginal workers. While 4.57 lakhs are cultivators, 1.11 lakhs are agricultural labourers. Thus, work participation rate of Manipur is 45.1 % out of which 73.8 % are main workers and 26.2 % are marginal workers. Among the marginal workers, about 79 % work for a period of 3 to 6 months in a year whereas 21 % works less than 3 months a year. Women form a remarkable portion of workforce in Manipur with 39.88%.
Agriculture and its allied sectors contribute a large share to the state economy
The socio-economic condition of Manipur state is characterised with low per-capita income, high incidence of poverty, rapid growth of population, high proportion of marginal workers, limited access to basic amenities, unsustainable use of resources etc. Availability of basic amenities of the households is another significant economic measure to understand the standard of living of the people. As per 2011 census, only 38.8 % of the households’ avail taps facility as source of drinking water in the State. While 13.3 % households use wells, hand pumps or tube-wells, the rest majority of the households (47.1 %) depend on other sources for drinking water. Moreover, only 46.6 % of the households of the state’s use sanitary latrine while 10 % defecate in the open, the rest use other types of non- sanitary latrines like pit etc. In terms of source of lighting, while one-fourth of the households use kerosene, 68.3 % has electricity, with the rest depending on other sources. About 70 % of the households of the state use firewood for cooking purposes. Use of non- sanitary latrines, use of kerosene as source of lighting and households depending on other sources of drinking water other than tap, wells and hand-pump etc. are more susceptible to climate change and its impacts. Lack of connectivity and mobility increases the level of vulnerability.
Various measures are taken up by the government to alleviate poverty and food insecurity but on many occasions extreme whether events have undermined progress. As the socio-economic factors contribute immensely to the cause of extreme climate change, raising socio-economic standards of the people along with decimation of knowledge for environment conservation could be some effective measures in combating climate change and its adverse effects on the people.