The Government of India and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Friday signed a $200 million loan to strengthen flood and riverbank erosion risk management along the 650 kilometres (km) long main stem of the Brahmaputra river in the state of Assam.
The signatories to the loan agreement for the Climate Resilient Brahmaputra Integrated Flood and Riverbank Erosion Risk Management Project in Assam were Ms. Juhi Mukherjee, Joint Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs in the Ministry of Finance, for the Government of India, and Mr. Hoe Yun Jeong, Deputy Country Director of ADB’s India Resident Mission, for ADB.
The project builds on the success and lessons from the ADB-financed Assam Integrated Flood and Riverbank Erosion Risk Management Investment Programme implemented during 2010–2020, and similar investments in Bangladesh and will continue to tackle recurrent flooding and continual riverbank erosion of the Brahmaputra river.
After signing the loan agreement, Juhi Mukherjee stated that the project interventions will contribute to broader stabilisation of the Brahmaputra river in high-priority flood- and erosion-prone areas and build the state’s disaster resilience.
“Through the project, ADB continues to pursue its cost-effective, adaptive, and systematic river stabilisation approach to managing the Brahmaputra river. While deploying riverbank protection technology, ADB will also continue to build the capacity of state agencies and affected communities to better manage flood and riverbank erosion risks,” said Mr. Jeong.
The project interventions include stabilising 60 km of riverbanks, installing 32 km of pro-siltation measures, and building 4 km of climate-resilient flood embankments in five high-priority districts (Dibrugarh, Goalpara, Kamrup Rural, Morigaon, and Tinsukia). These will result in securing living spaces, supporting livelihoods, creating employment opportunities, and ultimately enhancing the navigability of the river. It will advance the institutional capacity in flood forecasting and warning systems, modern surveys, erosion and embankment breach modeling, asset management, flood risk mapping, land use planning, and pilot nature-based solutions and the graduation approach.
By optimising co-benefits and empowering women through disaster-resilient economic activities, the project will benefit about 1 million people and increase crop production over 50,000 hectares.
The Flood and River Erosion Management Agency of Assam will lead, manage, and coordinate the project activities. The Water Resources Department of the Government of Assam will implement the works and the Assam Agroforestry Development Board will use nature-based solutions. The Brahmaputra Board, the Assam State Disaster Management Authority, and the Assam Inland Water Transport Development Society will be partner agencies.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members — 49 from the region.