In the intro, highlight the recent events in Assam where floods have created havoc and mention how it is a recurring theme every year in the state
In the first part of the main body discuss the reasons behind this phenomenon. You can divide your discussion in 2 parts: Natural Reasons and Man Made Reasons.
In the 2nd part of the main body, address the second part of the question, which is solutions to the problem.
End the answer with decent conclusion
Assam is in the grip of yet another flood, with 57 lakh people affected across all 33 districts, and 36 people killed besides hundreds of animals. This is the first wave of floods this monsoon, and flood control experts expect at least two more. While floods are a regular annual feature in Assam, some years witness more destruction than others. In terms of impact on human lives, the floods of 1988, 1998 and 2004 were the worst; the 2004 floods alone affected 12.4 million people and claimed 251 lives.
Reasons for flood proneness in Assam:
It is a mix of natural and man-made factors.
The Brahmaputra, a trans-boundary river and among the mightiest rivers in Asia, is braided and unstable in its entire reach in Assam except for a few places.
Topography of Assam and meteorological factor (high rainfall) are the obvious reason behind Assam floods every year.
The vast amount of sediment comes from Tibet, where the river originates. That region is cold, arid and lacks plantation. Glaciers melt, soil erodes and all of it results in a highly sedimented river
As the river comes from a high slope to a flat plain, its velocity decreases suddenly and this results in the river unloading the sediment
The silt causes the level of riverbed to rise. As a result, the natural longitudinal (straight) course of the river is disturbed. Therefore the river searches for a lateral path (left or right).
As a result it changes its course and breaches the embankments on the new path it has created. The breach of embankments causes floods.
More than 80% of these embankments have not been reinforced in several decades because there is a huge contractor-administration nexus that benefits monetarily from a flood situation.
The earthquake-prone nature of the region, the river has not been able to acquire a stable character. Following the devastating earthquake of 1950, the level of the Brahmaputra rose by two metres in Dibrugarh area in eastern Assam.
The man-made factors
Habitation, deforestation, population growth in catchment areas (including in China), encroachment of river banks and wetlands, lack of drainage, unplanned urban growth, hill cutting — which lead to higher sedimentation. For example, the sediment deposition itself creates temporary sandbars or river islands.
The dams that are being built are further creating disasters.
The wetlands forests and local water bodies are being systematically destroyed which in turn is adding to the disaster vulnerability of the area
Realising the severity of the problem, flood control measures in Assam started in 1954 with the announcement of the National Policy for Flood by the Government of India.
Construction of Embankments and Flood walls
River training and bank protection works
Anti erosion and town protection works
River channelization with pro siltation device
Drainage improvement/ Sluices
Flood forecasting and warning
Interlinking of rivers may be one option, whereby the excess water from the flood-prone eastern India can be diverted to the water-scarce regions. However, for that a thorough environmental impact assessment is needed.
Government of Assam is planning to dredge the Brahmaputra from Sadiya to Dhubri to increase its storage capacity and mitigate flood-induced damages.
An “integrated basin management” system that should ideally bring in all the basin-sharing countries on board.
It is important to monitor the run-off and hydrological data in the upper catchment areas, particularly in Tibet before the onset of the monsoon for which cooperation at the regional, national and international levels is required.
On the basis of these data, warning can be issued well in advance so that people and livestock can be moved to safer places.
Flood in Assam is unavoidable. The people must be enabled to enhance their adaptability so that the flood-induced damages can be minimised. As against the ad hoc, piecemeal, short-term structural measures adopted now, an integrated basin management approach for the rivers needs to be adopted (Goswami 2008). A comprehensive plan involving all the stakeholders (dam owners, upstream and downstream people) is needed. It should focus on ex ante and ex post measures. Moreover, timely relief to the victims of the basic necessities like food, medicine and drinking water needs to be ensured.