Rahat Floods – Assam & Bihar, 2020
Assam, Bihar battle Floods
With all rivers in Assam and Bihar in spate, and water levels rising above the danger mark, millions of people have been forced to leave behind their homes and belongings to find shelter on higher grounds. With fields submerged and hand pumps under water, the displaced families are battling hunger and thirst.
With the scare of the pandemic around and the need for physical distancing relevant more than ever before, Goonj along with other local entities are endeavoring to ensure dry food and ration to the displaced families. So that, instead of queuing before the shelter homes for cooked meals, they have their own food supply. Moreover, people can cook as well with the ingredients provided while adhering to the present physical distancing guidelines, wherever they are. According to our ground team, the needs don’t just stop there. Team Goonj is at work to reach out to the last individual.
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With the Brahmaputra and most other rivers flowing over the danger-mark, the low-lying areas in north Assam have been witnessing the wrath of floods. Due to incessant rains and the heavy flooding, 10-15 villages are completely waterlogged. The raging water from the swollen rivers has inundated a large number of areas and has washed away harvest-ready fields, forcing people to abandon their homes and seek shelter in neighboring villages. Our teams in the affected areas – Dibrugarh, North Lakhimpur, Dhemaji, Gilaghat and Baksa – are assessing the situation on the ground and are working on immediate relief and rehabilitation. Team Goonj will reach Bongaigaon soon for relief work.
Searching for safer grounds has forced the people to seek shelter in the homes of their near and dear ones. In the region of Valmiki Nagar Tiger Reserve of West Champaran, where our teams are on ground, the flood waters from the nearby Gandak River have submerged the villages of Chakdahwa, Bin Tola, Jhandahwa Tola and Kanhi Tola, a cluster of four villages. According to Ajay Jha, our team member from West Champaran, “The residents were forced to leave the village and take refuge elsewhere after the Gandak river released nearly 4,50,000 cusecs of water in a single night.” According to Ajay, “If the entire community gathered at the nearby Bherihari Middle School to take shelter, it would have happened at the expense of the safety guidelines of the pandemic. So, we thought, why not provide ration kits to all the families so that when they reach the homes of their relatives, they do not become a burden to them.”
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Courtesy : Goonj Team