The heavy flood situation in the North-eastern state of Assam has worsened, affecting over 1.5 million people. Nearly 10 people are reported to have died in the flooding. According to a report by SPHERE India quoting Government statistics, 322 relief camps and 60 relief distribution centres are housing 127,786 people in 19 districts of Assam. The floodwaters from the Brahmaputra river have caused widespread devastation in the districts of Lakhimpur, Golaghat, Morigaon, Jorhat, Dhemaji, Sivasagar, Kokrajhar, Barpeta and Bongaigain in over 500 villages. Roads and bridges have been washed away in Kamrup, Nalbari, Jorhat, Dhemaji, Darrang, Tinsukia, Golaghat, Chirang, Dibrugarh and Kokrajhar, snapping communication lines.
According to the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA), the floods have breached embankments and caused large-scale erosion in many areas. The flood waters have submerged over 25,000 hectares of agricultural land damaging standing paddy crops. The Government has set up relief camps for the affected people. The State Disaster Response Force and Army personnel are also involved in relief and rescue operations. The district administration of Jorhat is distributing water and food in the relief camps. Medical care is also being provided in some of the camps.
World Vision India’s teams are assessing the extent of damage and are working closely with the district administration and the Inter Agency Group. “We plan to begin relief operations in Jorhat district immediately. We are also assessing the flood situation in the neighbouring states of Bihar and West Bengal to respond to the needs there,” says Kunal Shah, Director – Disaster Management, World Vision India.
World Vision India works in Assam through Area Development Project (ADP) Jorhat, Area Development Project (ADP) Udalguri, Area Development Project (ADP) Dhemaji, Area Development Project (ADP) Lowairpowa, Guwahati Child Development Project and Guwahati Urban ADP. Many areas in Jorhat and Dhemaji have been flooded; however, the communities in our operational areas are safe now. World Vision India is also working closely with the district administration in Dhemaji and supporting them in relief operations among the affected families there.
The immediate need is to ensure food and nutrition security of the people, especially children, living in the temporary shelter and relief camps. Water and sanitation is also an urgent need. Families are also in need of hygiene kits and chlorine tablets to ensure access of safe drinking water. Tarpaulin sheets for temporary shelter and mosquito nets are also necessary for families.
Flood situation in other states
The neighbouring state of West Bengal has also been affected by the floods. Heavy rains have affected thousands of people in Darjeeling and other districts. The floods have led to landslides, causing the death of nearly 10 people. Many families have lost their houses. Over 100,000 people have been affected and are taking shelter in relief camps. Due to landslides, the road between Siliguri, Kalimpong and Darjeeling has been closed, making it difficult to access the affected areas.
Bihar is facing severe flooding, which has affected the districts of Kishanganj, Purnea, Saharsa, Madhepura, Khagaria and Saupal. World Vision India teams are working with the district administration in these areas to support the relief response. Eastern Uttar Pradesh is on flood alert after heavy rains and overflowing of rivers.