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Humanitarian Assistance for the Flood Affected Regions of Assam

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Duration – 2012-13
Supported by – Save the Children India

Flood in Sadiya (A Brief Situational Report)

After a huge gap (since 1988) of number of years, people of Sadiya region experienced a devastating flood i.e. flood emergency in the year 2012, 2014 and 2016 occurred in the monsoon season. The rapid surge of rising water of the river Brahmaputra and its tributaries Ghurmora, Kundil, Jia, Dibang and Kolia traversing through Sadiya Sub Division created havoc to a large extent at more than 60 villages. The Sub-division was severely affected by the deluge within the first six hours since there was massive rising trend of flood level and also incessant rainfall in the upper reaches of the bordering district, the tributaries went on spate, resulting wide destruction at many new areas. There was no existence of early warning system and mechanism of community preparedness. The situation was very grim as the affected people were cut off from the mainland due to breaches of road connectivity to a large scale and complete damage of a number of river bridges. Because of the large gaps of occurrence of such devastating flood, it was seen that people lost their traditional wisdom of coping mechanism. These unreached places were declared as red alert zones because of breakdown of communication and transportation system.

The Project Initiation

The Humanitarian Assistance for the Flood Affected Regions of Assam, supported by Save the Children was implemented in total 10 villages of Sadiya block of the district Tinsukia with the objective of ensuring food security with nutritional value during post flood emergency period, restoration of agriculture based livelihood, providing temporary shelter material support to the worst affected families and to provide emergency hygiene promotional campaign and WASH services.

Key Activities Implemented

  1. Promoting Child Friendly Spaces (CFS) during post flood period for providing recreational facilities of disaster affected children.
  2. Restoration of agriculture based livelihood among the poor farmers.
  3. Cash for Work programme to provide temporary employment to the most vulnerable segments of population affected by flood.
  4. Seed support for Kitchen Garden cultivation.

List of Targeted Villages:

  1. Relief Bosti
  2. Pahukhowa
  3. 8 Mile Dum Pathar
  4. Tamangbasti
  5. Paglam
  6. Tokajan Deuri
  7. Majgaon
  8. Nasai
  9. Tuposinga
  10. Tupsinga Konwar gaon

Strengthening Risk Reduction Initiative in the Floodprone Villages of Sadiya sub-division

NEADS in partnership with Save the Children was providing humanitarian assistance to children and communities affected by three waves of flooding in Assam in the year 2012-13. The project reached out to 950 households covering 10 villages of Sadiya sub-division of Tinsukia district. The project has delivered the following critical humanitarian support to the affected children and communities as part of relief and recovery project:

  • Child Friendly Spaces to provide protection layer for children
  • Education kits, school kits and campaigns to revive children education
  • Health and Nutrition intervention to avoid any child survival risks
  • Food Security and Livelihoods support to revise and strengthen household economy and prevent any distress migration
  • WASH for provision of potable drinking water and better hygiene practices

In addition to the above, the following activities were implemented during the year 2014-15:

1.Risk Mapping and Safety Planning with Children and Community
This exercise was undertaken in 5 villages namely Pohukhowa, Tamangbosti, Tupsinga, Tokajan Deuri and Tupsinga Konwar gaon to get better understanding of the underlying risks to children especially in disaster context and undertake safety planning. These exercises will help the children and their communities to identify potential risks/threats and draw up a plan to address the risks/threats. This is the first step towards disaster risk reduction process and will enable the communities to liaison with the panchayat and local administration for addressing the same. Further, the Panchayats will also be involved while undertaking the risk assessments at the community level.

2.Sensitisation Workshops on Children Risks and Safety to School Community
This is crucial as children are most vulnerable during any disaster and are deprived of their fundamental rights – right to education and protection. Most of often, the schools are used as shelter during the floods, which disrupts the normal education and exposes children to potentially higher risk of trafficking, child labour, etc. In order to build a perspective on the importance of “Child Friendly Spaces” in the absence of schools to provide access to protection and education services, sensitisation workshops were organised in the schools of five target villages. These sensitisation workshops were involving PRI members and School Management Committee members.

3.Bamboo Plantation for Prevention of River Bank Erosion
During the project implementation, communities were encouraged to implement indigenous knowledge to mitigate the impact of disasters (floods). In one of the villages, the villagers installed bamboo fence inside the river to divert the flow of river water to protect their embankment. Within a month of the fencing, the siltation that used to flow along the river water got stuck at the bamboo fencing and thereby created new land on the bank and river flow got diverted. This simple experiment of local people got attention of government and media. Sub-Divisional Officer of the government took special interest to promote this in other villages. This initiative was led by the community through mobilisation of bamboos (1000 pcs) and one week of free labour. After this success of preventing land erosion, through bamboo screening/fencing, it was realized that every alternate 4th year, there will be requirement of new bamboo to replace the old ones. Thus the need of plantation of bamboo in the area was considered. To support the community in this mission, NEADS carried out the bamboo plantation drive in three villages covering 5.4 acres of land (1.8 acres of land in each village). Approximately 1,440 bamboo saplings were planted in riverine area of Sadiya.