Bihar is known to be living under the constant risk of flood damage and makes up to 22.2% of India’s flood affected population. Districts in North Bihar are surrounded by five major rivers that cause floods every monsoon, Mahananda river, Koshi river, Bagmati river, BurhiGandak river, and Gandak which originates in Nepal. Every year, the floods destroy human lives, livestock, and property, while claiming approximately 9,500 lives since 1979.
Geographically, due to heavy rains in the mountain of eastern and central Nepal, the water flows in to Narayani, Bagmari and Kosi rivers, which flows into the plains and lowlands of Bihar by breaking their banks. However to protect the Kosi river dam and Koshi Barrage Pool’s embankments, the dam in Nepal is opened every year, which causes floods in Bihar. Although the government has built over 3000 km of embankments in the state, the proclivity of the floods has increased by 2.5 times. Upon further findings, it has been determined that in case of Kosi river, the siltation caused by deforestation led the river bed to be higher than the adjacent land and the embankments have caused the lowlands to be in a state of permanent waterlog.
1954, the Bihar flood policy was introduced, stating 160 km of embankments and a predictable 2.5 million hectares of flood prone area in the state. Upon the completion of the policy, 3,465 km of embankment had been built and managed by the Water Resources Department, while the flood prone area increased to 6.9 million hectares by the year 2004.
The current situation of Bihar is bleak as the floods continue to wreak havoc, affecting 16 1,232 panchayat areas in 125 blocks of 16 districts and affecting more than 74 lakh people across the state. About five lakh people have been evacuated and 27 deaths reported so far. About 5,186 are living in relief centers while 1,402 community kitchens have been set up to cater to ten lakh people affected by floods. The number of people stranded is rising continuously. Our elders are the most vulnerable, as, besides the loss of food, shelter & livelihood; they are also faced with health and mobility issues, financial insecurity, and are therefore struggling to survive.
River Ganga is flowing dangerously, flowing 10 cm above the danger mark at Gandhi ghat, over 13cm above the mark at Kahalgaon in Bhagalpur and 26 cm above the mark at Hathidah in Patna. A breach in an embankment from Tanti Tola, situated along BudhiGandak River in Khagariadistrict was reported on Wednesday night. While the repair work is underway at the embankment, people are advised not to panic. More than 30 teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and SDRF have been positioned in the flood affected area according to Disaster Management department of the state government.
In the midst of the pandemic, Bihar is facing a massive flood deluge which has destroyed crops, livestock, property, and lives of more than 74 lakh people in 16 districts. The number of people stranded is rising continuously. Our elders are the most vulnerable, as, besides the loss of food, shelter & livelihood; they are also faced with health and mobility issues, financial insecurity, and are therefore struggling to survive.
Contribute to HelpAge India’s Bihar Flood Relief efforts by donating for Bihar Flood Relief Packages for needy elders and their families. Your donation will go a long way in providing the following relief:
- Family Survival Kits– consisting of Rice, Toor Dal, Cooking Oil, Salt, Sugar, Kitchen Masala Powder.
- Personal Hygiene Kits – consisting of Bedsheet, Mosquito Net, Plastic Bucket, Bath Soap & Detergent.
- Healthcare Relief – Health Check-ups and provision of free medicines for people suffering from communicable and non-communicable diseases and spraying of disinfectant in waterlogged area.
Help Rebuild Elder lives in Bihar!