econintersect.com
       
  

FREE NEWSLETTER: Econintersect sends a nightly newsletter highlighting news events of the day, and providing a summary of new articles posted on the website. Econintersect will not sell or pass your email address to others per our privacy policy. You can cancel this subscription at any time by selecting the unsubscribing link in the footer of each email.



posted on 17 September 2015

India's Tea Capital Can Recover From Devastating Floods If The Government Gets Its Act Together

from The Conversation, The Conversation

-- this post authored by Sneha Krishnan, University College London

Heavy flooding has affected more than a million people in the north-eastern Indian state of Assam, with 45 dead and more than 200,000 in relief camps. And yet there is still very little coverage of the disaster in the international media - perhaps not surprising when you consider even most Indians aren't paying attention.

But they should - and so should you. The fact a region that is flooded regularly should be so unprepared for the latest downpour is scandalous, as is the shortsighted or uncaring government response.

The floods have also affected local wildlife, with the Kaziranga National Park - home to two thirds of the world's Indian rhinos - reporting the electrocution of elephants fleeing from the water, as well as the death of at least three rhinos.

The floods come amid reports of increasing illegal immigration from Bangladesh and poor working conditions on local tea plantations, while armed conflicts between separatist groups and state security forces make the situation in the region even more unstable.

Tribal plantation workers armed with tools for self-defence. Reuters

Perfect conditions for tea - and flooding

Assam is best known for its black tea, which grows well in the hot, steamy Brahmaputra valley. But while the monsoon may create perfect conditions for tea, it also means the region is highly susceptible to flooding.

More than 40% of the region is at risk and severe floods occur every few years, eroding riverbanks and dumping large amounts of sand on farmland, often rendering lands infertile.

An elephant helps clear up a dead rhino. STR / EPA

For local communities, these floods have been disastrous and many are not receiving sufficient aid. For example my own research on recovery after major floods in 2012 found affected families who hadn't received the promised compensation from the government, even two years on.

Government initiatives to build new embankments have led to further distress. For example, new barriers constructed in 2012 displaced hundreds of families who found their resettled homes were now on the wrong side of the embankments. Compensation was poor, lower than market rates, while others received no support for resettlement due to identity and land ownership issues for illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.

Some embankments built along the Brahmaputra in central Assam as an ad hoc response to the 2012 floods were so poorly constructed over natural drainage they actually failed to keep the river movements in check and increased erosion. The embankments simply breached in the following year's monsoon. The subsequent relocations and distress were entirely preventable.

Embankment building in Assam, 2013. Floodwaters breached the walls within a week of this photo. Sneha Krishnan, Author provided

The Brahmaputra has caused serious erosion for decades now, and yet the government response has been inefficient. Plans to tackle the problem remain confined only to paper.

The real cost for Assam's communities

The floods in Assam have taken a heavy toll on water, sanitation, health and education systems. Affected people flee their homes and create makeshift camps, where access to essential facilities is inadequate for the hundreds of thousands displaced.

The quality and accessibility of drinking water in particular is severely affected, and people are depending on contaminated sources - even when they know it isn't clean. Defecation in the open becomes dangerous, especially for women and adolescent girls, all the more so during floods and regular displacement.

During floods the government turned some public schools into relief camps for a week or two. This of course affects the school term. Once the water recedes people start leaving the camps and are forced to fend for themselves. When they return to their villages they'll be faced with destroyed homes, lost food grains and fields ruined by silt or sometimes even entirely lost to erosion.

Families living in a school during the 2012 floods. Sneha Krishnan, Author provided

The road to recovery is hard to see, particularly as no long-term support is guaranteed by government, civil groups or NGOs.

The floods also have an adverse affect on marginalised people, such as women, who bear the responsibilities of running households, childcare and rebuilding homes after floods. A 2013 study involving 900 households around Assam found that soil erosion, as a consequence of flooding, heavily affected the standard of living for farmers. This in turn forced women to leave the home and earn an income which resulted in girls dropping out of school to look after younger siblings and do the chores.

What Assam would like to be known for. Ahmad Masood/Reuters

India's 2005 Disaster Management Act doesn't recognise the chronic challenges of erosion as a natural disaster. The present development plans are shortsighted. They do not feature a long-term recovery, or take into consideration environmental factors.

In the case of Assam, disaster resilience will only be possible through education and the participation of local communities and institutions. Something that needs to be done if the area is prone to flooding.

The ConversationSneha Krishnan, PhD Candidate and Teaching Assistant, UCL

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

>>>>> Scroll down to view and make comments <<<<<<

Click here for Historical News Post Listing










Make a Comment

Econintersect wants your comments, data and opinion on the articles posted.  As the internet is a "war zone" of trolls, hackers and spammers - Econintersect must balance its defences against ease of commenting.  We have joined with Livefyre to manage our comment streams.

To comment, using Livefyre just click the "Sign In" button at the top-left corner of the comment box below. You can create a commenting account using your favorite social network such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn or Open ID - or open a Livefyre account using your email address.



You can also comment using Facebook directly using he comment block below.





Econintersect Contributors


search_box

Print this page or create a PDF file of this page
Print Friendly and PDF


The growing use of ad blocking software is creating a shortfall in covering our fixed expenses. Please consider a donation to Econintersect to allow continuing output of quality and balanced financial and economic news and analysis.


Take a look at what is going on inside of Econintersect.com
Main Home
Analysis Blog
The Problem With Obamacare Is That It Did Little To Reduce Overall Healthcare Spending
Joan Robinson’s Critique of Marginal Utility Theory
News Blog
Joe Sixpack's Situation in 3Q2016: The Average Joe Is Better Off
Why Are Some People More Delinquent On Loans Than Others? - Part 1
Gravity Returns To San Francisco Housing Market
Violent Bond Selloff: An Eye-Opening Perspective
Infographic Of The Day: Identity Theft: You Should Be Worried
Early Headlines: Russia Hacked GOP, Trump To Drain Energy 'Swamp'?, New Sec'y Of State Candidate, India IP Shrinks, India Has World's New Largest Solar Plant , China GDP Hides Volatility And More
Most Coup Attempts In Recent Years Have Failed
The Global Cost Of Diabetes
The Universities Churning Out The Most Billionaires
Five Amazing Ways Plants Have Created New Technologies
Where U.S. Weekly Wages Go The Furthest
What We Read Today 09 December 2016
How To Stop Using Filler Words Like Um And Uh
Investing Blog
The New Art Of Utility Investing
Investing,com Weekly Wrap-up 09 December 2016
Opinion Blog
Trickle-down Economics, Trump Edition
Looking At Everything: Trump's $1 Trillion Infrastructure Plan
Precious Metals Blog
Silver Prices Rebounded Today: Where They Are Headed
Live Markets
09Dec2016 Market Close: Wall Street Closes On A New High, Trump Sugar High, Crude Prices Testing Resistance, US Dollar Melts Higher
Amazon Books & More






.... and keep up with economic news using our dynamic economic newspapers with the largest international coverage on the internet
Asia / Pacific
Europe
Middle East / Africa
Americas
USA Government



Crowdfunding ....






























 navigate econintersect.com

Blogs

Analysis Blog
News Blog
Investing Blog
Opinion Blog
Precious Metals Blog
Markets Blog
Video of the Day
Weather

Newspapers

Asia / Pacific
Europe
Middle East / Africa
Americas
USA Government
     

RSS Feeds / Social Media

Combined Econintersect Feed
Google+
Facebook
Twitter
Digg

Free Newsletter

Marketplace - Books & More

Economic Forecast

Content Contribution

Contact

About

  Top Economics Site

Investing.com Contributor TalkMarkets Contributor Finance Blogs Free PageRank Checker Active Search Results Google+

This Web Page by Steven Hansen ---- Copyright 2010 - 2016 Econintersect LLC - all rights reserved