DIMAPUR: A three-member inter-ministerial central team, led by Central Water Commission director Sudhir Kumar, assessed the damages caused by drought in Nagaland last year. 

Since April 21, the team visited various villages in different districts, including Zunheboto, Kohima, Wokha, Mokokchung, Peren and Niuland for spot verification of every affected area and also to verify the report on the drought submitted by the Nagaland government to the Centre last year, an official release said on Monday. 

 The team held discussions with district disaster management authorities of the districts and line departments such as agriculture, PHE, fisheries, rural development, veterinary and animal husbandry and land resources.  

It urged the agriculture and PHE departments to develop an action plan prior to the monsoon to assist the farmers in cultivation in case of delayed or no rain. 

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It also requested them to plan for sustainable water resources throughout the year not only in towns but also in rural areas as well. 

Further, the team requested the animal husbandry department to have preparedness in case of drought and epidemic situations in the state. 

The Kohima District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) apprised the central team that agricultural crops in 1465.4 acres of land were affected by the drought during 2020-2021 in Kohima district. 

It said 65 villages mostly from northern areas were affected. It also briefed the team on the measures taken to face the situation. 

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The central team along with DDMA officials and line departments visited the drought-hit areas in Gariphema village and interacted with the farmers. 

In Mokokchung, the central team after the meeting with the DDMA visited Longkhum village and interacted with the farmers to know their grievances. 

In Wokha, the team went for a site visit to New Wokha village and held an interaction with the villagers. 

The team visited Aghunaqa and Niuland areas in Niuland district and interacted with affected farmers in Pihekhu village. 

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In Zunheboto, agriculture, fisheries, soil and water conservation and PHE departments gave Powerpoint presentations on the steps taken during the drought-like situation in the district to the central team. 

The team assessed and inquired about how the departments handled the situation. It visited Zungti village and Shiyepu village in the district. 

Bhadra Gogoi

Bhadra Gogoi is Northeast Now Correspondent in Nagaland. He can be reached at: bhadragogoi@yahoo.com