The Role of Drought Risk Management Approach in Reducing Social – Economic Vulnerability of Farmers and Rural Regions Case Study: Sulduz Rural District, Azarbaijan Gharbi

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assistant Prof. in Geography and Rural Planning, Tarbiat Modares University

2 Associate Prof. in Geography and Rural Planning, Tarbiat Modares University

3 M.Sc. in Geography and Rural Planning, Tarbiat Modares University


Natural hazards are indeed geophysical events, such as earthquakes, volcanic activity, flooding, etc. They have the characteristic of posing danger to the different social entities of our planet. Nevertheless, this danger is not only the result of the process per se (natural vulnerability), but also it is the result of the human systems and their associated vulnerabilities towards them (human vulnerability). Natural hazards are threatening events that if they happen and leave damages and injuries to the human population which they exposed to the risk, they are called natural disasters. The occurrence of natural hazards in every community leads to damages and injuries caused by disaster so that will lead to poverty in various dimensions. For this reason, studying the risks of these disasters has grown considerably nowadays. Consequences of natural disasters lead to physical, social and economic damages and negative impacts leave on natural and human systems body. Although we cannot completely mitigate the damages caused by natural disasters but by studying and planning in this field we can reduce their vulnerability. Vulnerability is a rank and degree that shows the power of a community against disasters. Vulnerability contains three main characteristic: expose, it means be at risk, critical and threatening conditions. Capability or the rate of access to resources in order to deal with this situation. Resilience or the ability to use resources to deal with critical consequences and outcomes. Droughts are recognized as environmental disasters and have attracted the attention of environmentalists, ecologists, hydrologists, meteorologists, geologists and agricultural scientists. Droughts occur in virtually all climatic zones, such as the areas with high and low rainfalls, and are mostly related to the reduction in the amount of precipitation received over an extended period of time. Droughts produce a complex web of impacts that span many sectors of the society, including economy and may reach well beyond the area experiencing a drought. It is among the most important natural hazards in Iran, because the country is located in the Earth the desert belt. According to the United Nations report, Iran is one of the most critical countries which will be involved water shortages in the future. Agriculture is among the most important foundations of its economy and can be affected by drought. Rural communities' severities are influenced by climatic conditions. Limited economic of water value, increasing of demand value with population growth and its high consumption in agriculture to other sectors lead to emerging problem of water shortage. This problem has attracted the attention of many experts. During recent years this issue has became more important, because Iran has been faced with frequent droughts.
In this study, vulnerability of drought in rural communities was investigated as a central point for agriculture. Increasing the awareness about the costs of economic – social and environmental drought leading to development of an active view on drought risk management in developing countries and the developed ones. The present study is seeking reduce the vulnerability of rural farmers by management of drought risks. Therefore, at the beginning the levels of vulnerability have been studied in economical, social and environment sections.
The results indicated that the economic – social factors have been among the most important ones. In order to achieve the goals, literature review and field survey methods have been used. Sulduz rural district in west Azarbaijan province was the statistical society of the study. Therefore ten villages were selected as samples. This selection was carried out considering the criteria such as the distance from the main city, information of township disasters center, type of agricultural land and population. According to Cochran formula, 300 questionnaires were filled randomly. Also in order to evaluate effects of drought risk management on decreasing of vulnerability, 30 questionnaires were filled by local governors. Data were analyzed using different statistical methods such as comparison of averages, T-test and Friedman and variance analysis in SPSS software.
The results of present work showed that the socio-economic factors have acted most important roles in vulnerability. Also it was found that drought risk management is an appropriate approach for reducing the vulnerability. Finally, according to theoretical concepts and field -studies, the research results showed that the drought risk management formed a proper approach in order to reduce economic and social vulnerability in the studied villages for reducing the consequences and damages of drought.