A. Situation analysis
Description of the disaster
From early July 2017, heavy monsoon rains and floods were reported across the north-east part of India, especially in the states of Assam and Manipur. These states were affected by three rounds of floods, with sporadic rainfall and raised flood water levels continuing until early September.
Assam is prone to floods and erosions every year due to monsoon rainfall in the state and its neighboring states, with its two main rivers - Brahmaputra and Barak - and their numerous tributaries and sub-tributaries flooding during the monsoon season. However, the deluge this year was one of the worst in 29 years. According to Assam’s State Disaster Management Authority, as of July 2017, 75 people were killed and approximately 1.7 million people affected in 24 districts of the state (with 12 districts being the worst affected) as a result of flooding. Infrastructure was damaged and roads and bridges submerged, disrupting surface communication. Almost 75 per cent of Kaziranga National Park, a world heritage site, was inundated.
In Manipur, the rains that started after cyclone Mora during the last week of May 2017 caused floods across many parts of the state. Like in Assam, in Manipur too the flood levels this year were above normal and were referred to as once in a 30-year event by media reports. According to Manipur’s State Department of Relief and Disaster Management, four districts were affected, with many low-lying areas in and around Imphal, the capital of Manipur, inundated by flood waters. The road network was cut off at many places due to landslides. Flood waters remained in many low-lying areas, increasing vulnerability to water borne diseases. Large scale crops were lost affecting agriculture, which is the primary source of people’s livelihood in the state Relief materials were dispatched to both Assam and Manipur from IRCS’ regional warehouses, following initial delays caused by damaged roads and railway tracks. Transporting material using trucks was a challenge during the monsoon season, especially for Manipur, as all goods needed to be transported via Guwahati, the capital of Assam.
A joint rapid needs assessment was conducted by Sphere India and the assessed needs aligned closely with the strategy and activities of the DREF operation. However, the needs in Assam were much more than what could be covered under the DREF operation. The IRCS therefore launched a domestic appeal to support its longer-term relief and recovery plan, which sought to scale up the assistance to all flood affected states in India, including Assam and Manipur.