Droughts and Floods

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January 4, 2021 How the historian's method is invaluable in developing an understanding of floods.
Need to consider the perspective of the historians who see floods as a naturally occurring event. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)
December 26, 2019 Policy matters this week
The Mandovi river disputed between Karnataka and Goa (Source: IWP Flickr Photos)
December 11, 2019 Policy matters this week
Polythene bags and solid waste left behind as water recedes in the Ganga river. (Source: India Water Portal on Flickr)
December 11, 2019 A study calls for solutions that can benefit farmers and the environment and positively impact India's nutrition indicators.
Rice field in Karnataka (Image: Guldem Ustun, Flickr Commons, CC BY 2.0)
December 6, 2019 A report by the India Rivers Forum highlights the need to focus further than the main stem of the Ganga river.
Distant snow clad mountains, the smaller hills and the Ganga river (Image: Srimoyee Banerjee, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0)
Monsoon experiences a countrywide deficit of 10 percent in July
News this week Swati Bansal posted 5 months ago

Monsoon 2020: Countrywide deficit of 10 percent in July; September may have heavy rains

July experiences rain deficit of 10 percent (Source: IWP Flickr photos)
Amphan’s impact on farming and livelihood in Sunderbans
Millions of people's homes were swept away and farmlands destroyed during cyclone Amphan in Sunderbans. Amita Bhaduri posted 5 months ago

The Amphan cyclone has disfigured the lives of people living in the Sundarbans. Houses have been torn apart, farms have been filled with brackish water making the land unsuitable for farming and betel leaves have been destroyed. People in the Sundarbans are in a life-threatening situation with makeshift shacks to live in and no means to earn a living.

Betel (popularly used in paan) plantation is a major occupation in the Sundarbans. Pulak Bhakta is assessing the damage done to his plantation right after Amphan. The plantation is spread over two and a half bigha of land. According to Pulak, the total loss he has suffered is around INR 3 lakhs. Pulak already bears the burden of a loan which he had taken to set up his plantation. His future seems uncertain and bleak now. (Image: WaterAid/ Subhrajit Sen)
Banking on rainwater harvesting
National Water Mission’s campaign aims at creating rainwater harvesting structures in various parts of India. Amita Bhaduri posted 5 months ago

National Water Mission’s (NWM) has launched a campaign ‘Catch the rain’ on a pan India basis to nudge the states and stakeholders to create appropriate rainwater harvesting structures (RWHS) suitable to the climatic conditions and sub-soil strata before the onset of monsoon.

As a part of the campaign, work is being done on various interventions such as water for productive use, improving irrigation practices, creating water recharge structures (Image: Pikist)
Bihar floods: 'Living on 2.5 Kg flattened rice’
Only 4,18,490 of the 56.53 lakh people have been evacuated from the floods so far, and people are forced to survive on meagre rations provided by the government. Swati Bansal posted 5 months ago

Two weeks ago, the Kanakai River flowing through Kishanganj rendered dozens of families homeless. While the people in the region are staying under plastic sheds, the government has turned a blind eye to their plight.

Mohammadin is also one of them. He tells the India Water Portal,

Locals engaged in repair of broken embankment in Darbhanga (Source: Umesh Kumar Ray)
"Everything’s devastated, and no one is listening to us!"
Surrounded by flood waters, and taking shelter at rooftops with a limited supply of food and drinking water, people of Bihar wait for the floods to end. Swati Bansal posted 5 months 1 week ago

"All of a sudden, water entered the house at night. Goods and cattle were submerged. There is no place to eat or drink. We have been in trouble for three days, but no one has come to help us.” The elderly Gauri Singh complains, with mixed feelings of anger, pain and helplessness. 

Floodwater enters Satjoda village of Chapra (Source: Umesh Kumar Ray)
Floods in Bihar: Pregnant woman reaches hospital in a tube boat
Amid the rising floods and absence of government help, locals help a pregnant woman reach the hospital using a makeshift boat. Swati Bansal posted 5 months 1 week ago

Flood havoc continues to increase in Bihar. Until recently, the effect of flood was only in eight districts across the state but now it has spread to ten districts.

Pregnant woman goes to hospital in flood in a jugaad boat (Source: Umesh K Ray)
Affected by floods, locals resort to chowkis for safety
"People living inside the Kosi embankment get little or no government help that is why we have been doing this jugaad for years during the flood season". Swati Bansal posted 5 months 2 weeks ago

Flood waters inundated the house of Ramchandra Yadav, a resident of Khoknaha village of Supaul, for three days. During these days he cooked food by setting up a brigade on the outpost and spent nights at the same post.

Children taking water from a submerged handpump (Image source: Prabhat Khabar)
Bihar and northeast India reel under floods, Assam worst hit
News this week Swati Bansal posted 5 months 3 weeks ago

Flood batters three northeast states, Assam worst affected

People take a boat to cross the flood-ravaged Brahmaputra (Source: IWP Flickr photos)
Nearly three lakh people across eight districts affected by floods in Bihar
Floods in Bihar create havoc with 2.88 lakh people being affected. 9,845 people have been evacuated from the region and sent to relief camps. Swati Bansal posted 5 months 3 weeks ago

The annual floods that wreak havoc in Bihar have knocked the state this year as well. So far, the flood waters have entered 150 panchayats of 30 blocks across eight districts, namely Sitamarhi, Shivhar, Supaul, Kishanganj, Darbhanga, Muzaffarpur, Gopalganj and East Champaran  .

An official of Bihar's Disaster Management Department said,

Life submerged within the embankment area (Source: India Water Portal Hindi)
Floods in Bihar: State submerged in flood waters
Locals take refuge on the embankments as flood waters enter the new areas in the state and government is yet to provide help. Swati Bansal posted 5 months 3 weeks ago

The rains have stopped in Bihar, in the last few days, but despite this, the water level of the rivers continues to rise. According to information received by the Disaster Management Department, the water level of Budhi Gandak is rising in Khagaria, Samastipur and Muzaffarpur's Sikanderpur gauge station.

Village under threat from erosion in Kishanganj (Source: India Water Portal Hindi)