Flood affected areas in Jorhat where NEADS is currently rebuilding schools

North-East Affected Area Development Society (NEADS), a local organization is trying to rebuild schools in flood-ravaged areas of Jorhat and Golaghat districts.

The ongoing post-disaster intervention project entitled, ‘Assam Flood Response 2020 Restoration of WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) in Schools’ is a post response and disaster risk reduction venture.

Tirtha Prasad Saikia, joint director, NEADS said that last year several waves of floods in Assam had not only ravaged the lives, livelihoods and community infrastructures but also dealt a severe blow to the educational institutions.

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“The deluge damaged 2,278 elementary schools and 306 secondary schools across the state. Preliminary assessment and information collated from communities, panchayats and district administration reveal that a total of 103 schools were damaged in the districts of Golaghat and Jorhat,” Saikia said.

“The objective of the project is to restore and make the schools functional and child friendly by rebuilding their infrastructure with adequate WASH facilities in both the targeted districts,” he added.

The project began in October last year and now is being implemented in 25 lower and upper primary schools under central Jorhat, Bokakhat and Dhekial education blocks of both the districts.

About 1250 school going children are being targeted as direct beneficiaries and 2000 families as indirect beneficiaries in the project.

Saikia said that disasters like floods were having a huge impact on education, causing untold damage to thousands of schools, destroying infrastructure and other learning materials.

Many schools had been completely destroyed while others had suffered various degrees of damage.

Since 2019, emergency floods in Assam have put the future of several thousand students at peril as 15000 schools in the state have received massive infrastructural damage.

“We are making our efforts in rebuilding the severely disrupted schools in communities so that children resume their education and safe spaces amid all crises,” said a member of NEADS.

NSE Foundation which undertakes the development activities of the National Stock Exchange of India is funding the project.

RedR India, a humanitarian and non-profit organization is providing technical support in this initiative.

“NEADS will establish new sanitation facilities, renovate and restore existing water sources, build raised hand-pumps with elevated platforms, set-up water distribution systems, support hand-pump repair kits and develop IEC materials in schools as part of this project,” Saikia said.

Smita Bhattacharyya

Smita Bhattacharyya is Northeast Now Correspondent in Jorhat. She can be reached at: triptyaddy@gmail.com