15 Assam districts most vulnerable to climate change

The Assam government is concerned as 15 districts in the state are among the 25 across the country identified as the most vulnerable to climate change.

State Science, Technology and Climate Change Minister Keshab Mahanta said that out of these 15, as per survey reports from two premier institutes – IIT Guwahati and IIT Mandi, Karimganj tops the list.

Karimganj falls in the state’s border Barak Valley region. The district normally used to witness a hefty amount of rainfall every year, but recently, this has decreased. In fact, after two spells of monsoon floods in Assam, Karimganj has received very less rainfall over the last two months.

The other two districts in Barak Valley – Cachar and Hailakandi – also fall in the most vulnerable category.

Silchar, the second-most populous town of Assam and headquarters of the Cachar district, faced the worst floods in June. But from mid-July, the rainfall has decreased in Cachar also, which has sent a warning sign to environmentalists.

Apart from these three districts, the 12 others include Goalpara, which comes second in the list, whereas Dhubri and Sonitpur are in the third and fourth places, respectively.

The others are Darang, Golaghat, Barpeta, Kokrajhar, Tinsukia, Baksa, Morigaon, Dibrugarh, and Sivsagar.

Mahanta said that climate change has affected the agricultural economy of the state.

Quoting the Assam Climate Change Action Plan report, he said: “The temperature in Assam has seen a continuous rise for last many years. Along with that, the rainfall has decreased considerably. This has an adverse effect in rural households who are totally dependent on agriculture.”

The report further states that between 1951 to 2010, the temperature in the state increased by 0.59 degrees every year.

After the monsoon floods lashed many districts of Assam in May and June this year, now a drought-like situation has occurred in at least five districts of the state, the Minister said.

The Assam Climate Change Action Plan report has estimated 75 per cent rise in the drought situation in coming years. It also assessed that Assam may witness around a 25 percent increase in floods.

In 2021, many districts in Assam were drought-hit due to a 21 per cent decrease in rainfall in June and July, and this hit agriculture production.

Mahanta informed that the government is preparing an action plan to tackle the climate change situation in the state.

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