MANILA, PHILIPPINES (5 October 2023) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $200 million loan to strengthen flood and riverbank erosion risk management along the 650 kilometers (km) long main stem of the Brahmaputra River in Assam, India.

The project builds on the success and lessons from the ADB-financed Assam Integrated Flood and Riverbank Erosion Risk Management Investment Program (2010–2020) and similar investments in Bangladesh and will continue to tackle recurrent flooding and continual riverbank erosion of the Brahmaputra River.

The project will apply a holistic, integrated, and risk-informed approach to scale up investment in flood and riverbank erosion risk management and its long-term planning, while intensifying support for climate and disaster resilience and food security. By optimizing co-benefits and empowering women through disaster-resilient economic activities, the project will benefit about 1 million people and increase crop production over 50,000 hectares.

“ADB is committed to support the state government to make Assam a disaster-resilient state. The Brahmaputra River is one of the world’s largest river systems. The project’s innovative cost-effective structural and advanced nonstructural measures will strengthen Assam’s capacity to better manage flood and riverbank erosion risks, hence enhancing disaster resilience of the state and affected communities,” said ADB Senior Water Resources Specialist Olivier Drieu.

By stabilizing 60 km of banks, installing 32 km of pro-siltation measures, and building 4 km of climate-resilient flood embankments in five high-priority districts (Dibrugarh, Goalpara , Kamrup Rural, Morigaon, and Tinsukia), the project will secure living spaces, support livelihoods, create employment opportunities, and ultimately enhance the navigability of the river. It will advance the institutional capacity in flood forecasting and warning systems, modern surveys, erosion and embankment breach modeling, asset management, flood risk mapping, land use planning, and pilot nature-based solutions and the graduation approach. 

The Flood and River Erosion Management Agency of Assam will lead, manage, and coordinate the project activities. The Water Resources Department of the Government of Assam will implement the works and the Assam Agroforestry Development Board will use nature-based solutions. The Brahmaputra Board, the Assam State Disaster Management Authority, and the Assam Inland Water Transport Development Society will be partner agencies of the project. 

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.

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