In the north-eastern Indian states, floods have resulted in a devastating situation as bodies such as the European Union (EU) have pledged aid.
As north-eastern India, with areas such as the states of Assam, Tripura, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh, faces perhaps the worst flood in decades, the situation remains grim as reports surface of rail links to the region also being cut off. The extent of the flooding has remained extremely large with an estimate of more than 1.5 million people being affected as well as several lives being lost, along with harm to farmland, wildlife and other things. As local and national authorities step in to provide aid to those affected, there are international organisations such as the EU who have stepped in by contributing through financial aid and assistance in the ground.
Over the past few weeks, several parts of India including the west and north have reported flooding and towards eastern India too states such as West Bengal has seen severe damages in certain parts. However, north-eastern India, which has been prone to flooding owing to its geoscape as well as infrastructural shortcomings is facing a more difficult situation this year. Assam has seen the effect from the swelling of the Brahmaputra river among others, Tripura’s capital city is waterlogged, Meghalaya’s South Garo Hills region has been reported as worst affected while Arunachal Pradesh has seen landslides and road blockades in several parts.
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In the state of Assam, various districts in upper and lower parts of the state have been affected, including the Kaziranga National Park, which has seen animals suffer as each annual flood passes by. Home to the one-horned rhino, this park has reportedly lost 124 animals due to the flood this year. Even as various state governments along with the centre has somewhat made commitments to intervene, with several operations underway, the situation seems to worsen with the continuous rains. A few days ago, pledging to directly benefit 25,000 severely affected people in the flood-stricken areas, David Sevcik, head of the South Asia Regional Office for the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) released a statement: “The funding will ensure essential aid is delivered to those most in need, thereby helping them to survive this hard time.”
Targeted aid and action
Karimganj, Nagaon, Dhubri and Barpeta in Assam and Imphal West, Imphal East, Thoubal and Bishnupur in Manipur have been targeted as areas for the aid. The statement further expressed that the particular funding by the EU gives support of the Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS), to ensure delivery of assistance through the distribution of emergency relief items such as family tents, tarpaulins, temporary sanitation facilities and mosquito nets. “Water purification tablets and storage are provided to ensure the impacted families have access to clean water,” clarifies the statement.
Aiming to boost assistance, this fund will additionally provide “training sessions to promote good hygiene practices” and will deliver “personal hygiene items, including soaps and sanitary napkins”. The funding, as part of the EU’s overall contribution to the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) comes at a crucial time where north-east India requires any aid it can get.