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  • Shramdan to repair traditional diversion Jamfwi/Dong at Saralpara

    Published on June 4, 2019

    by Preetam BC

    Kokrajhar : Over 500 people from 36 villages of Saralpara area in Kokrajhar district participated in Shramdan (Voluntary Work) to repair traditional diversion based irrigation canal (local natives called Jamfwi/Dong) from Saralbanga River, which flows downstream from Bhutan through Kokrajhar district in Assam.

    This irrigation canal is the lifeline for farmers in Saralpara area apart from wildlife, flora and fauna and all the living being in the Ripu Chirang Reserve Forest in Assam’s Kokrajhar.

    For centuries now, people living on the foothills of Bhutan have been dependent on rivers and rivulets flowing down from mighty Himalayas. The sharing of water and other natural resources has been much dependent geo-political climate between the two countries. Fortunately, the diplomatic relation between Government of Indian and Royal Government of Bhutan has always been cordial except localized conflicts in different border areas.

    Kokrajhar based leading Civil Society Organization  North East Research & Social Work Networking (NERSWN) have landed logistic support to the villagers and in mobilizing communities on both sides of the Indo-Bhutan border along the Saralpara-Sarphang area to participate in sustainable sharing and governance of Saralbhanga transboundary river.

    “Saralbhanga River is lifeline for the people of Saralpara area and one cannot imagine life and its being without the flow of waters for agriculture and other daily purposes, General Secretary of the Irrigation Committee, Matla Mardi said.

    “There are several rivers that flows down from Bhutan to India, 56 such rivers flows down from Bhutan to Assam itself. Though, these rivers are the lifeline for riparian communities in both the countries, many a times wrecks havocs with flash floods, long term inundation, erosion, and siltation. Unscientific mining, unsustainable fishing and improper water management and flood protection measures can be the determining factors for cumulative risks and vulnerabilities in the region. These rivers if governed effectively can help both the countries thrive in trade and tourism and prospering livelihood riparian communities, said Raju Narzary, Executive Director of NERSWN said.

     “We are so grateful to our neighbouring country Bhutan that they have always been kind enough to allow us to draw water from Saralbhanga/Swrmanga river, Anarsingh Iswary, one of the members of the Irrigation Committee said.

     “Our efforts to bring two friendly nations together to meet the developmental aspirations of people living along the Indo-Bhutan border is bearing fruits. People to people ties is facilitating cordial sharing of natural resources especially the water on the border. Saralpara initiative for trans-boundary river sharing is one of the best thing that I have ever seen my life”,. Pratibha Brahma, a social activist said.


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