standard Latest on Kosi River flood in India

Recent news on Kosi River flooding from the Times of India, unfortunately the situation there seems to have worsened:

The rise in the water level caused due to funneling of the high intensity flows of Kosi water through the narrow passage has led to full or partial submergence of 52 villages in Nirmali, Saraigarh and Bhaptiahi blocks of Supaul district. 

Most of the affected villages are located within a range of 15 km upstream from the site of the bridge. This was one of the major findings of a team comprising Narayan Jee Chaudhary of Mithila Gram Vikas Parishad, Darbhanga, Anindo Banerjee and Jay Kumar Verma(Praxis, Patna) and Rajkumar and Ajay (local activists). The team had recently visited the site.

Most of the affected habitations have been abandoned by their residents, mostly belonging to Scheduled Castes, minorities and OBCs. Thousands of affected villagers have fled their respective villages and taken refuge on the highways and embankments at various places. Some have moved to villages that are not fully submerged yet, e.g. Bananiya, which is also providing refuge to people from Aurhi village.

Hundreds of habitations are lying fully submerged under water, e.g. six wards of Saraigarh panchayat, which include Itarhi village. Nearly every households has someone or the other down with fever, diarrhoea or other water-borne diseases, the term observed.

A video of villagers praying for the Kosi River to spare them is not embeddable on this blog, but is available here.  It is perhaps a reminder that the role of religion or religious and spiritual practice still plays a fundamental role in how people respond to risk and disaster (see When God, Nature and Politics Meet).

For those interested in this environmental and political problem that has many social as well as scientific aspects there is a report available from IHRR on addressing the problem of flooding on the Kosi:  Mitigating Flood Hazards on the Kosi River, India


    1. There are problems with flood defense that need to be resolved and if left unaddressed could displace even more people. Further info:
      And from what I understand every time monsoon rains come and threaten to breach the banks of the Kosi people flee their homes:
      It is an incredibly difficult situation. Some have settled and likely many others have not or have been displaced more recently. Perhaps others have something to say about this?

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