FLOOD SITUATION IN ASSAM, JUNE 2010 KARIMGANJ DISTRICT Preliminary Assessment Report: (PAR) (This report is meant to give a quick, broad picture of a disaster, so please be brief and factual. Do not worry if you do not have all the answers to all the questions: send an initial version and then add further info and re-send)
Name of Organization:
PFI FOUNDATION (Fokhrul Islam Foundation) 46, Sijubari Masjid Road, Hatigan, Guwahati 781 038 (India) Tel: 0361-2235655 Fax: 0361-2229509 Mob: 098599-14100 / 094350-72356
Dr Baharul Islam Hony. Executive Director
13 June 2010
Type of Disaster:
Area of Impact:
KARIMGANJ district of Assam
BRIEF Background Summary (What has happened, when, to whom and why) Please send maps if possible.
Early and heavy monsoon rains in India have caused floods in different parts of the country, including the north-eastern state of Assam. As early as on 8 June 2010, according to National Disaster Management report, “river Kushiyara at Karimganj is flowing at 15.82m against the danger level of 14.94m with a rising trend”.1 According to the latest report, “in Assam, river Kushiyara at Karimganj is in Unprecedented Flood Situation and flowing at 16.57m against the danger level of 14.94m with a steady trend.2
According to other reports, in Karimganj district, 375 villages had been inundated forcing at least 55
1 SITREP NO-08/2010: 1700 hours. Ref No.32-20/2010-NDM-I issued by Ministry of Home Affairs, (Disaster Management Division), Govt of India, Dated, 8th June, 2010. Available at http://ndmindia.nic.in/flood-2010/JUNE-10/sitrepon08.06.2010.doc . For daily Situation Reports visit http://ndmindia.nic.in/flood-2010/floodsJune.htm
2 SITREP NO-11/2010: 1700 hours. Ref No.32-20/2010-NDM-I issued by Ministry of Home Affairs (Disaster Management Division), Govt of India dated, 11th June, 2010. Available at http://ndmindia.nic.in/flood-2010/JUNE-10/sitrepon11.06.2010.doc
thousand people to take shelter in 310 camps in various parts of the bordering district.3 Altogether 21,597 families are affected by the first wave of floods. According to the Karimganj district agriculture department, in areas falling under the Nilambazar revenue circle, 277 hectares of Boro paddy and 106 hectares of vegetables were inundated and 2,557 families of 63 villages were affected In areas falling under the Patherkandi revenue circle, 3,665 families of 77 villages have been affected where Boro paddy in 96 hectares and 195 hectares of vegetables were damaged by the last floods. The worst affected areas were those falling under the R K Nagar revenue circle. A total of 9,598 families of 59 villages were affected and 3,496 hectares of Boro paddy and 570 hectares of vegetables were completely damaged by floods. As many as 1,555 farming families in different areas falling in 57 villages under the Badarpur revenue circle were affected and 311 hectares of Boro paddy and 30 hectares of vegetables were damaged.4 According to a news report dated 11 June 2010, 350 thousand people are affected in Karimganj.5 According to the latest overall state-wide report for Assam as of 11 June 2010, total population affected is: 369857 in 6 districts affected covering 544 villages and number of cattle/Live-stock lost: 3600 and the total cropped area affected (in ha) is 17629.35.
Summary of effects of the Disaster:
i. 350,000 persons displaced so far.
ii. 50,000 evacuated in relief camps,
iii. 310 Relief Camps established.
iv. 21,597 families are affected
v. 5081 hectares of paddy and vegetables are damaged. Total cropped area affected (in ha) is 17629.35 (in the whole state).
vi. 3600 cattle/live-stock lost
3 The Sentinel, Daily Newspaper from Guwahati. Available at From : http://www.sentinelassam.com/cachar/story.php?sec=2&subsec=12&id=38566&dtP=2010-06-11&ppr=1
4 The Assam Tribune dated 12v June 2010. See http://www.assamtribune.com/scripts/detailsnew.asp?id=jun1210/state07
5 The Sentinel, daily newspaper from Guwahati dated 11 June 2010. See http://www.sentinelassam.com/cachar/story.php?sec=2&subsec=12&id=38566&dtP=2010-06-11&ppr=1
i. Preventing outbreaks of diseases like typhoid, dysentery, infectious hepatitis, and other diseases associated with flood waters should now be the major objective of all relief work.
ii. Use of water from wells without sampling.
iii. Food supply has been a great problem due to breach of communication, lack of transparent supply chain resulting in illegal hoarding and also leakage on government flood relief assistance.6
Summary of needs of affected population:
i. Food / potable water
iv. Health / sanitation
v. Psycho-social needs: e.g., counselling, education etc
i. Food / Water: a. Family Food Packs : 1,00,000 Packets Estd. 1pk/wk/head, 20000 persons for 5 Wks. (Rice: 10kg/Dal: 5kgs/Salt:500g/Oil 1 Lit/Gur 2kg) b. Chlorine Tablets: 10,00,000 Tablets b. Water Purifier: 1,00,000 Bottles c. Jerry Cans 12,000 ii. Shelter
a. Blankets: 20,000
b. Kitchen Sets 5,000
c. Cholera Kits 4
d. Buckets 5,000
e. Family Tents 2,000
f. Plastic Sheeting 500 rolls
a. T-Shirts 5,000
b. Used Clothes 100 bales
c. Sari (Women) : 50,000
d. Lungi (Men) : 50,000
iv. Health / Sanitation
a. Cholera Kits: 50
b. First Aid Bags 200
c. Mosquito Nets 10,000
d. Oral Rehydration Salts 10,000 packs
e. Soap Bars: 5,000 kg
v. Psycho-social needs / Education
a. Education/ Book kits: 5000
b. School rebuilding support: for 50 schools
6 “PDS in disarray in Barak valley districts”. Report published in The Sentinel daily, 9 June, 2010. See- http://www.sentinelassam.com/cachar/story.php?sec=2&subsec=12&id=38419&dtP=2010-06-09&ppr=1
Accessibility to disaster zone:
Main road link still to be restored to the affected villages. Rail/Road/Air routes to the Karimganj district still maintained. However, in the remotes areas roads are damaged and boats / bullock-cart etc should be used.
Local suppliers (food, blankets etc):
Local supplies not available at competitive price. Should be taken from Silchar or Guwahati, ie, nearest whole sale market)
As of 11.06.10: Govt allotted following for the whole state: Rice-4247.98 Qtls, Dal-814.42 Qtls, Salt-214.54 Qtls, M/Oil-27 Liter, Tarpaulin-100, Rice Bran-200 Qtls
Lead Agency / Other voluntary Agencies in area:
a. District Disaster Management Team
What is your organisation currently doing?
a. Visited the areas, conducted a preliminary assessment,
b. Coordinated impartial distribution of foods in all affected areas.
c. Distributed some food materials in the areas with the help of another NGO.
Has the Government called for international assistance?
If no to Question 13, then have the Government and / or the lead agency/ies adequate capacity to respond effectively to the crisis
PFI FOUNDATION has trained Disaster Management / Post-disaster reconstruction specialist on its board – expertise in education, health and agriculture sectors. We have conducted flood relief operations in 2008 flood in Assam (Lakhimpur Dist) with international assistance.
Briefly summarise proposed intervention
We need your assistance in view of ineffective relief distribution in some specific areas / communities of population, specifically in:
a. Immediate food and sanitation.
b. Alternative livelihood.
c. Educational reconstruction
Does your organisation have the capacity to intervene?
Briefly comment how the security situation might affect
The security situation is normal – and in terns of flood relief activities no untoward incident has
staff and whether your organisation has security procedures in place.
been reported so far. Local police places proper security cover for the team as and when requested.
Does your organisation have a Disaster Preparedness Plan? If so, briefly summarise what aspects of the plan will be activated.
We are following the National Disaster Management in India’s DISTRICT CONTINGENCY PLAN7 to avoid duplicity of efforts and optimal resource utilisation. With the post-flood action-plan, we are targeting the following areas:
a. Provision of basic amenities like drinking water, sanitation and public health care and arrangements of cooked food in the relief camps.
b. Rehabilitation of homeless.
c. Commencement of agricultural activities-de-siltation, re-sowing.
d. Relief for economic reconstruction.
Other comments: Land-loss, deteriorating poverty situation, urban migration due to flood. Absence of alternative livelihood and a decent habitat with basic amenities.
The flood (regular and flash) in Assam brings in a specific problem of land loss and economic disaster for the people living in the banks on the rivers. A large number of them (estimated 21,597 families this time in Karimganj district alone) have lost their crop / livelihood. Now they are accommodated in the relief camps, but once the water subsides and the small amounts of disaster relief is exhausted (approx Rs 3000/family) where these people will go and build their houses? There is not enough govt fund for rebuilding the houses of the below the poverty line poor people. Loan sharks / money-lenders will poach on them with high interest rates. This has catapulted into a larger poverty cycle with the loss of job, health problems and in the absence of agricultural work due to flood. This has further deteriorated the condition of the people. Displaced from their homes and hearths, the victims of Assam's devastating annual floods end up begging on the streets for a living. According to a recent survey, out of the 2,000 pavement dwellers in Guwahati city a majority were flood victims. They include women, children and unemployed youth. "Floods are not new to Assam. They are a perennial
7 National Disaster Management in India at http://www.ndmindia.nic.in/manageplan/manageplan.html
problem. But the sheer apathy on the part of the government and the lack of preparedness sees many lives and homes destroyed year after year," says a respondent. "Though the government arranges temporary relief camps for the victims every year, this is not enough. There is no permanent solution to compensate their losses," he added. Last year, as many as 50,000 people were displaced across the state because of floods. "Even last year's victims are still languishing in relief camps. Most of these camps are in pathetic conditions and have no facilities for human existence," according to one of the interviewee. The survey clearly indicates that flood victims who have lost their homes and source of income that is mostly agricultural eventually land up in urban centers to seek an alternative source of income.8
ACCOUNT DETAILS FOR SENDING DONATION
(A) FCRA Account: PFI FOUNDATION State Bank of India Hatigaon Charali Branch, Guwahati 781038 Assam AC NO: 300-7233-6965 MICR Code of the Branch: 781002032 Mode of Transfer: CBS , NEFT and RTGS Available in the Bank IFSC Code: SBIN0005162 (B) General Donation Account (Tax Exemption allowed under Sec 80GG) PFI FOUNDATION State Bank of India Hatigaon Charali Branch, Guwahati 781038 Assam AC NO: 301-1437-0027 MICR Code of the Branch: 781002032 Mode of Transfer: CBS , NEFT and RTGS Available in the Bank IFSC Code: SBIN0005162
ADDRESS FOR IN KIND DONATION
46, Sijubari Masjid Road, Hatigan, Guwahati 781 038 (India) Tel: 0361-2235655 Fax: 0361-2229509 Mob: 098599-14100 / 094350-72356
8 Indo-Asian News Service (IANS), June 22, 2008. Assam's Flood Victims are Turning Beggars
By Maitreyee Boruah. Available at http://news.boloji.com/2008/06/22080.htm [Accessed 30 June 2008]
Red Marked area showing the location of Karimganj District in Assam
NEWSPAPER CLIPS FROM TWO MAJOR DAILIES PUBLISHED FROM GUWAHATI (ASSAM) 12 June, 2010; Saturday : Guwahati 21,597 families hit in Karimganj floods CORRESPONDENT
KARIMGANJ, June 11 – Altogether 21,597 families engaged in farming activities were affected by the first wave of floods during April. According to the Karimganj district agriculture department, 82 villages were affected by the last wave of floods in North Karimganj where the number of affected families stood at 4,282 and 366 hectares of Boro paddy and 176 hectares of vegetables were submerged by the flood waters.
In areas falling under the Nilambazar revenue circle, 277 hectares of Boro paddy and 106 hectares of vegetables were inundated and 2,557 families of 63 villages were affected.
In areas falling under the Patherkandi revenue circle, 3,665 families of 77 villages have been affected where Boro paddy in 96 hectares and 195 hectares of vegetables were damaged by the last floods. The worst affected areas were those falling under the Ramkrishnanagar revenue circle. A total of 9,598 families of 59 villages were affected and 3,496 hectares of Boro paddy and 570 hectares of vegetables were completely damaged by floods. As many as 1,555 farming families in different areas falling in 57 villages under the Badarpur revenue circle were affected and 311 hectares of Boro paddy and 30 hectares of vegetables were damaged. The agriculture department distributes agricultural implements almost every year at subsidised rates under various schemes. Under the Assam Bikash Yojana eleven tractors and seventeen power tillers were distributed in 2007-08 and forty tractors were provided for the period 2008-09. Under the RKVY, twenty-six power tillers were distributed for the period 2008-09. Under the Stall Priority Sector Scheme, six tractors and seventy power tillers were given away in 2006-07 while eight tractors and 101 power tillers were distributed in the period 2007-08. During the period 2009-10 seeds were distributed among the farmers under CRF programme as compensatrion against drought.
11 June 2010, Guwahati 3.5 lakh affected in Karimganj From our Staff Reporter SILCHAR, June 10: Over all flood situation of Karimganj still remained grim as 3 lakh 50 thousand people had been affected. However, in other two districts of the Barak Valley situation seemed to improve slightly as the water level of Barak river in Cachar and Dholeswari in Hailakandi was almost stagnant at a little higher point of the danger mark.
In Karimganj district, 375 villages had been inundated forcing at least 55 thousand people to take shelter in 310 camps in various parts of the bordering district. On Thursday evening, River Kushiara was flowing at 16.55 metre, much higher than the danger level 14.94. Water from Kushiara was overflowing slowly to the main town as various parts of Karimganj were inundated. Rapid Response Team had been deployed to erect obstacle to stop the overflowing of water into the town. Sources said, various BSF camps in the bordering district had also been inundated. However, surprising the Water Resource Department was neither well equipped nor fully prepared to counter the situation. On the other hand, various Opposition parties raised allegation of corruption in distribution of relief material. The ruling party cadres were allegedly misutilizing the relief materials, they blamed. In Cachar district, flood situation was still alarming as some new areas were reportedly inundated following Wednesday night’s heavy shower. However, water level of Barak was almost stagnant as recorded on Thursday evening. In Hailakandi, too, flood situation had slightly improved as none of the major rivers or their tributaries recorded any alarming rise. At least 30 villages in Algapur area had been affected.
From : http://www.sentinelassam.com/cachar/story.php?sec=2&subsec=12&id=38566&dtP=2010-06-11&ppr=1
10 June 2010, Guwahati Flood situation grim, Barak Valley cut off From our Staff Reporter SILCHAR, June 9: With the first bout of flash flood, the Barak Valley was virtually cut off from the rest of the country since Tuesday late night. Landslides, coupled with an accident of a goods trains had forced the cancellation of all trains in the hill section for indefinite period. On the other hand, same was the picture in the surface transport as landslides followed by accident of a Silchar bound day super over a bailey bridge resulted into traffic jam throughout the night. Though the bus could be removed from the bridge at landslide prone Malidahar bordering Meghalaya, situation was grim as further landslides could be happened at any time following heavy shower. A double engine Badarpur bound goods train met an accident over bridge number 528 at Bandarkhal. The engine slipped from the track and was hanging from the bridge. The accident happened at 10.30 pm on Tuesday. RM Dev, driver of the goods trains jumped from the train and miraculously escaped unhurt. Relief trains from both Lumding and Badarpur had left for the spot on Tuesday midnight. Bhajan Dey, organizing secretary of the NF Railway Mazdoor Union told The Sentinel, Baldev Singh, Senior Divisional Manager (coordinator) from Lumding would supervise the rescue operation. Chief Engineer (Bridge) from Maligaon was also scheduled to reach the spot. Meanwhile, there had been landslides at three points in between Damcherra and Bandarkhal.
Meanwhile, overall flood situation in Barak Valley was truly grim. A major portion of Karimganj district was inundated for last couple days leaving at least 1.5 lakh people marooned. On Wednesday, water level of Langai river recorded steep rise, though Singla seemed to recede marginally.
In Cachar district, Barak river crossed the danger level (19.83) at Tuesday midnight as water recorded increase by seven cm per hour. However, the flow had been reduced to one cm per hour from Wednesday morning. Water of River Barak was stagnant at 20.44 metre. However, fresh shower would again result into deterioration of the situation. A Water Resource dyke at Dholeswari had been broken and water from Barak river was reportedly flowing towards Hailakandi. A good number of villages in Sontosh Nagar, Bakrihaor part-I, Bagthmara in Hailakandi district were inundated today
From : http://www.sentinelassam.com/cachar/story.php?sec=2&subsec=12&id=38498&dtP=2010-06-10&ppr=1
9 June 2010, Guwahati PDS in disarray in Barak valley districts Special Correspondent SILCHAR, June 8: In the wake of heavy downpours in the last few days, the possibility of floods due to ever swelling river waters now looks not distant. The fragile communication of this valley stands threatened which will cut off this region from other parts of the country. Prices of essential commodities have been rising abnormally. If the rail and road connectivity is disrupted, the situation is likely to take a serious turn. Black marketeers, profiteers and hoarders are likely to take advantage of the adversity and push up prices further. Considering the likely emerging grave situation, Grahak Suraksha Samiti (GSS) feels the district administration across the valley has to be proactive in order to streamline the PDS (Public Distribution System) and for taking stringent action against the unscrupulous elements of the market. Biplab Kumar Goswami, general secretary of the Samiti, demands identification of the unlicensed and unaccounted godowns as well as those indulging in black marketing. The market trends as well as price index have to be strictly monitored in order to have complete control over PDS and open market. The administration at the same time has to adopt steps to keep prices under control. Goswami feels unless PDS is streamlined, prices cannot be curbed. According to him, around 60 per cent of fair price shops have been functioning as ordinary grocery store houses, in flagrant violation of all standing rules and regulation. It is something unprecedented in the district of Cachar, he states. The helpless people in rural and tea garden areas are deprived of their due allotment of rice, flour, sugar and kerosene. Prices for these commodities to be available to them under PDS are charged as per the rates of open market. The general secretary of GSS points out that there is no administrative measure taken to record the grievances of consumers. Nor is there any supervision nor inspection of the fair price shops in order to regulate their illegal activities. In the absence of any vigilance worth the name, PDS has turned into a farce. He cautions if effective steps are not taken immediately to bring the system on right track, mass agitation will be the only option left.
6 June 2010, Guwahati Flood situation worsening in Barak Valley From our Staff Reporter SILCHAR, June 5: Incessant rain for the last couple of weeks had virtually forced the normal lives of Barak Valley out of gear. A major part of bordering Karimganj was inundated as the district administration had opened at least 40 relief camps including nine in Karimganj town. In Hailakandi district, Dhaleswari river had crossed the danger-level at Gharmura whereas Katakhal river was nearing the danger-level gradually. At Matijuri point, danger-level was 20-27 metre, but Dhaleswari river was flowing at 20-14 metre. At Gharmura point, Dhaleswari was flowing at 29 metre, whereas the danger-level was 28.05. However, in Cachar district, though the Barak river had been recording gradual rise, the speed was slow. On Saturday noon, Barak was running at 18.38 metre whereas the danger level was 19.83. In Hailakandi district, Deputy Commissioner Tapan Chandra Goswami convened an urgent meeting to discuss the situation on Monday. Algapur MLA Rahul Roy discussed with Goswami on Friday evening.
Flood situation was alarming in Karimganj district. At least 1.5 lakh people had taken shelter in various relief camps. But district administration has been finding it tough to provide relief as they were not prepared for such an untimely flood. Additional Deputy Commissioner ANB Singh reportedly admitted that demand for relief was high, but they had to provide the same in accordance with the government rule. But AIUDF leader Baharul Islam, who had been camping in Patharkandi, alleged that a racket had been playing foul game to loot the relief material. Even in the last 72-hours, the district administration could not provide minimum relief to the victims, Baharul wondered. Official sources however claimed that 190 quintal of rice had been distributed till Friday evening.
SNAPSHOTS FROM FLOOD IN KARIMGANJ DISTRICT OF ASSAM – JUNE 2010 From Nababarta Prasanga, dated 13 June 2010. Bengali Daily Newspaper from Karimganj
Available at http://www.nababartaprasanga.com/today/page-1.htm From Daily Jugasankha, Bengali newspaper from Silchar dated 10 June 2010 Photo: Eatern Projections
Available at http://www.dainikjugasankha.net/index.php?day=10/06/2010
From Daily Jugasankha, Bengali newspaper from Silchar dated 10 June 2010 Photo taken by Faruk Ahmed at Nilambazar, Dist Karimganj (Assam)
Available at http://www.dainikjugasankha.net/index.php?day=10/06/2010 From Daily Jugasankha, Bengali newspaper from Silchar dated 11 June 2010
Available at http://www.dainikjugasankha.net/index.php?day=11/06/2010
A boy whose house / village is under water is watching over his village at a distance: Photo: Shubhasish Bhattacherjee From Daily Jugasankha, Bengali newspaper from Silchar dated 9 June 2010
Available at http://www.dainikjugasankha.net/index.php?day=09/06/2010 “15 Yrs old girl Rupali rescuing flood affected people on her boat” Photo by Faruk Ahmed, from Daily Jugasankha, Bengali newspaper from Silchar dated 9 June 2010
Available at http://www.dainikjugasankha.net/index.php?day=09/06/2010