Disaster Risk Reduction Programme

Assam is a multi-hazard state that is vulnerable to floods, earthquakes, storms, landslides, and other natural and man-made disasters. Also, the state faces an acute flood and erosion problem. Assam has a history of disasters ranging from large earthquakes to severe floods. Assam, with its vast network of rivers, is prone to natural disasters like floods and erosion, which have a negative impact on the overall development of the state. The Brahmaputra and Barak rivers, with more than 50 tributaries feeding them, cause flood devastation in the monsoon period each year. Also, Assam, which is positioned on the foothills of the fragile Eastern Himalayas, is considered to be prone to great earthquakes of magnitude exceeding 8.0 on the Richter scale.

SEWA’s initiative on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR)

WORLD BANK Study Project Title: ‘Assam IWT Risk Management & Resilient Infrastructure Development’ jointly conducted by RMSI Pvt Ltd and  SEWA.

RMSI Pvt Ltd has engaged SEWA for services under the World Bank Project to conduct a comprehensive study to improve the state’s capacity in disaster risk management (DRM) on Assam’s inland waterways and develop a DRM framework for adaptation, resilience, and disaster risk information in the IWT sector.

This study developed the framework to plan and build resilience to climate change, natural hazards, pandemics, and health hazards, and support the development of resilient transport infrastructure, IWT services, and connectivity in the State of Assam. Overall, the study addressed the climate change, disaster, and pandemic induced challenges and developed a DRM framework across the disaster life cycle for the Assam IWT sector.

The key task assigned is:

  1. Risk assessment of IWT owners, operators, users, and communities; citizen feedback, consultations with different groups to understand their vulnerabilities.
  2. Review of existing policy and
  3. Develop Community Resilience Framework including SOP for IWT services during or in the aftermath of natural disasters or pandemic, guidelines, etc.
  4. Capacity improvement training program.
  5. Inter-dept disciplinary committee at state level & coordination with local govt, municipalities.
  6. Liaison and logistics with identified IWT sites.
  7. Community consultation and collection of data through FGD and KII.

Community Based Flood Risk Management and Livelihood in Dibrugarh Subproject Area Under Project: Assam Integrated Flood and River bank Erosion Risk Management Investment Program-Project -1 (ADB Loan Fund)

Under the Asian Development Bank  Loan Fund, FREMAA on behalf of the state government, engaged SEWA, to assist in the implementation of Community-Based Flood Risk Management and Livelihood (CBFRML) at the Dibrugarh Sub Project.

SEWA conducted the following activities under the project – 

  • facilitate mobilization, formation, capacity building, and empowerment of disaster management committees (DMCs) at the village, Gram Panchayat (GP), and block levels;
  • conduct flood education to the government and Disater Managment Committees (DMC) at every level;
  • assist DMCs to undertake participatory CBFRML planning, which comprises preparedness, response, and recovery plans;
  • assist DMCs in making use of flood and riverbank erosion warnings, as well as effective local flood and river erosion early warning systems
  • implement their top priority subproject using project grants;
  • pilot test of selected small mitigation works such as the construction of raised platforms in selected communities; and conduct mock drill.
  • vertically and horizontally link the DMCs at different levels to relevant government agencies such as Gram Panchayat (GP), Circle Office, Block Development Officer (BDO), and District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) who are the key actors in flood risk management and development activities.

Kopili River basin disaster preparedness programme

The Government of Assam (GOA) received financing from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for the construction of the 120 MW Lower Kopili Hydroelectric Project (LKHEP) on the Kopili River in the state of Assam.

SEWA and RMSI Pvt Ltd jointly implement community resilience and disaster risk preparedness in the Kopili river basin. The activity includes mapping the five districts to identify flood-prone areas and landslides in order to better prepare communities for annual flooding, as well as assisting district councils and state agencies in assessing existing river embankments and recommending solutions to improve existing embankments. In addition, the mapping of the districts will enable the autonomous district administration to have a better ability to manage. The service also includes piloting participatory disaster risk reduction in five villages; and undertaking an assessment study of the existing 110km of river embankments and erosion protection and the 80 km of river without embankments.

Identify five villages, one in each district, and undertake a needs assessment. Following the assessment, design and implement a participatory village resilience and disaster risk reduction plan to increase resilience and disaster preparedness. Implement the village disaster risk reduction plan in consultation with village communities.

Key activity under the project –

  1. Identify five villages (one from each district) to carry a participatory village resilience disaster risk reduction. Implement the village disaster risk reduction plan in consultation with the village communities.
  2. Ensure that at least 500 people (90% of whom are vulnerable households, with approximately 40% being women) have increased their disaster risk management capacity through the trainings. In the process, develop a household evacuation plan for the downstream districts of Nagaon, Hojai, and Morigaon;
  3. Conduct training workshops for APCGL, ASDMA, WRD, and the Disaster Management Committees of the downstream districts.