India: Livelihood Improvement for River Erosion Victims in Assam

Sovereign Project | 43069-012

Summary

Assam is the most severely affected area in India in terms of floods and erosion, accounting for 9.4% of the country's total flood-prone area. In Assam, damage due to floods has been caused by two river systems: the Brahmaputra and the Barak. In the subproject areas, flood and riverbank erosion has been a chronic problem, causing enormous damage to lives, crops, livestock, land and property. These impacts cause massive displacement of people, increase landlessness, and force local governments to focus scarce resources on relief operations rather than development. Major floods have occurred in 1954, 1962, 1966, 1972, 1977, 1984, 1988, 1998, 2002 and 2004, while floods of lesser magnitude occur almost yearly. As a result, in spite of having vast natural resources, Assam has been unable to meet its development goals. The people in the subproject areas (Palasbari, Kaziranga and Dibrugarh) have lost land and lives to floods and riverbank erosion, which is now an annual phenomenon.

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Project Name Livelihood Improvement for River Erosion Victims in Assam
Project Number 43069-012
Country India
Project Status Approved
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Grant
Source of Funding / Amount
Grant 9168-IND: Livelihood Improvement for River Erosion Victims in Assam
Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction US$ 2.50 million
Strategic Agendas Inclusive economic growth
Drivers of Change Governance and capacity development
Partnerships
Sector / Subsector

Agriculture and Natural Resources - Agricultural policy, institutional and capacity development

Gender Equity and Mainstreaming Effective gender mainstreaming
Description

Assam is the most severely affected area in India in terms of floods and erosion, accounting for 9.4% of the country's total flood-prone area. In Assam, damage due to floods has been caused by two river systems: the Brahmaputra and the Barak. In the subproject areas, flood and riverbank erosion has been a chronic problem, causing enormous damage to lives, crops, livestock, land and property. These impacts cause massive displacement of people, increase landlessness, and force local governments to focus scarce resources on relief operations rather than development. Major floods have occurred in 1954, 1962, 1966, 1972, 1977, 1984, 1988, 1998, 2002 and 2004, while floods of lesser magnitude occur almost yearly. As a result, in spite of having vast natural resources, Assam has been unable to meet its development goals. The people in the subproject areas (Palasbari, Kaziranga and Dibrugarh) have lost land and lives to floods and riverbank erosion, which is now an annual phenomenon. In many cases, entire villages have been shifted and relocated away from their original location after the land has eroded.

Dikes or embankments have been erected throughout Assam along the riverbanks to protect people and assets from flooding. Such embankments are used by the victims of both riverbank erosion and floods, as their raised platforms provide better shelter than living on the floodplain. Entire families and villages in need of land have built their houses on existing or retired embankments. Many of these families, especially in Dibrugarh, live on side of the embankment nearest the river, increasing their vulnerability. Although the embankments are built on government land, the government of Assam has not taken a hard line approach towards the illegal settlements. It would be complex and costly to resettle the riverbank inhabitants on private land, and the government has supported the provision of limited facilities (e.g., basic drinking water supplies, and in some instances electricity and some educational facilities).

The impact of the project is the improved incomes of vulnerable victims of river erosion, in the subproject areas of Kaziranga, Dibrugarh and Palasbari, Assam. The expected outcome is improved incomes of vulnerable female river erosion victims in three subproject sites in Assam.

Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy

The Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction project is linked to the ADB-financed Assam Integrated Flood and Riverbank Erosion Risk Management Investment Program.

Linkage to ADB Strategy

Country Partnership Strategy 2009-2012

Document Number: Sec.M16-09

Objectives: Support for inclusive and environmentally sustainable growth; catalyze investment though the use of innovative business and financing solutions; increase results orientation and emphasize knowledge solutions; support for regional cooperation.

Strategy 2020: The Long-Term Strategic Framework of ADB 2008-2020

Objectives: Promotes inclusive growth and poverty reduction; supports rural infrastructure development for irrigation, water resources, and agriculture marketing

Impact Reduced poverty of communities vulnerable to river erosion in Dibrugarh, Palabasri and Kaziranga
Project Outcome
Description of Outcome Increased livelihood opportunities and incomes of river erosion victims in 3 subproject sites in Assam, including women.
Progress Toward Outcome It is too early to assess progress toward outcome as activities are at the initial stage.
Implementation Progress
Description of Project Outputs

(1) Improved skills in spinning and increased market access; (2) Improved weaving skills and increased market access.

(3) Improved vegetable production skills and market access.

(4) Educated youth learn new employable skills, and (5) Youth learn to set up microenterprises

(6) Increased capacities of project management and implementation of NGOs

Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)

Activities are on going in the Palasbari and Dibrugarh areas. NGO for Kaziranga being recruited.

M&E specialist mobilized in November 2014.

Geographical Location Within Assam, Palasbari, Kaziranga and Dibrugarh
Safeguard Categories
Environment C
Involuntary Resettlement C
Indigenous Peoples C
Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects
Environmental Aspects Project activities focus on beneficiaries' skills improvement and capacity building to access services and market opportunities. No social or environmental safeguard issues are envisaged.
Involuntary Resettlement Project activities focus on beneficiaries' skills improvement and capacity building to access services and market opportunities. No social or environmental safeguard issues are envisaged.
Indigenous Peoples Project activities focus on beneficiaries' skills improvement and capacity building to access services and market opportunities. No social or environmental safeguard issues are envisaged.
Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
During Project Design During project design, local NGOs and several women's SHGs were consulted to assess the extent and level of participation in existing programs by beneficiaries. Local NGOs have a high level of participation, and potential project beneficiaries were generally satisfied with the extent to which their views and ideas were considered.
During Project Implementation Local NGOs will be contracted to implement the main activities relating to the development of economic opportunities and livelihoods, largely through building and expanding successful participatory programs. Much of the work by local NGOs has been through producer groups and SHGs.
Business Opportunities
Consulting Services Consulting services will be recruited in accordance with ADB's Guidelines on the Use of Consultants. The EA will engage two national individual consultants (a project management and livelihood specialist, and a monitoring and evaluation specialist). The EA will also engage up to five local NGOs to assist in implementing the project's components on improved Eri silk spinning and weaving in Palasbari (Component A), improved vegetable cultivation and marketing in Kaziranga and Palasbari (Component B), and skills training and placement of youth in Dibrugarh (Component C). The NGOs will be recruited using consultants' qualification selection method.
Procurement All procurement activities will be carried out according to ADB's Procurement Guidelines. Only minor procurement is envisaged under the project. Civil works will involve construction of cocoon central store for the proposed Eri silk production in Palasbari. Goods to be procured include Eri silk production equipment, farm implements, office furniture, fixtures, and computer equipment. The GIU will also purchase motorcycles for field staff. These and other equipment will be turned over to the executing agency after project completion.
Responsible ADB Officer Natsuko Totsuka
Responsible ADB Department South Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division Environment, Natural Resources & Agriculture Division, SARD
Executing Agencies
Flood and River Erosion Management Agency of AssamR1RAVI@GMAIL.COMOffice of the CEO, FREMAA
4th Floor,Nayantara Supermarket Building
Six Mile, Guwahati, Pin-781022
Timetable
Concept Clearance 01 Sep 2008
Fact Finding 27 Jan 2009 to 05 Feb 2009
MRM -
Approval 05 Oct 2012
Last Review Mission -
PDS Creation Date 31 Mar 2009
Last PDS Update 06 Aug 2015

Grant 9168-IND

Milestones
Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
05 Oct 2012 10 Jan 2013 10 Jan 2013 31 May 2016 - -
Financing Plan Grant Utilization
Total (Amount in US$ million) Date ADB Others Net Percentage
Project Cost 2.50 Cumulative Contract Awards
ADB 0.00 05 Oct 2012 0.00 0.28 11%
Counterpart 0.00 Cumulative Disbursements
Cofinancing 2.50 05 Oct 2012 0.00 0.25 10%

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