Surrounded By Flood Waters, How Villagers Are Coping In Assam

Village Balimukh in Assam's Morigaon district, about 60 km away from Guwahati, is submerged in flood waters.
Guwahati, Assam: In a rickety raft made of banana plant trunk, 16-year-old Yashmina Khatun and her siblings rowed for 10 miles to fetch drinking water to their hut. Their village Balimukh in Assam’s Morigaon district, about 60 km away from Guwahati, is submerged in flood waters from an overflowing Brahmaputra and Kolong river.

Yashmina’s school is shut for the last seven days. Just like her, many children are struggling for basic necessities.

“Every year, the studies of children are affected the most. We cannot go to the schools and colleges and lag in studies,” Yashmina said.

With water level rising in Brahmaputra and its tributaries, the flood situation in Assam has worsened. Nearly 900 villages are facing the deluge. NDTV visited Balimukh village to take a look at how the villagers are coping with life surrounded by water.

For villagers in Balimukh, life is all about living with the floods and boats are their only saviours. 

“The water level has risen again today. We don’t know how much more it will rise because this will add to our miseries,” said boatman Faruk Ali, who rowed NDTV team to the village.

As the river’s water rises, the situation is likely to turn grimmer. Despite furious floods, lives in these villages carry on.  

“The water has breached the embankment and entered here. It has destroyed our crops. We don’t go to the relief camp because we don’t get full relief. The middlemen take away the relief money too,” local villager Abdul Motaleq lamented while mending his broken country boat.

With the death of one more person in Golaghat district on Wednesday, the death toll in this flood season in Assam rose to 13 as of June 5. Lives of over four lakh people in 15 districts have been affected with over 42,000 rendered homeless in relief camps.

1 COMMENT

  1. Floods in Assam is an old problem. A permanent solution is required. Digging the Brahmaputra river might be a solution. Also the fertile soil dug from the river bed could be used for agriculture.

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