We know the Earth is warming and that climate change increases the number, duration and intensity of tropical storms and monsoons, making floods more frequent and increasingly dangerous.
The evidence of increased flooding during the rainy season is lapping at our doorsteps.
To deal with flooding risks and to find solutions, cooperation and coordination between the Union Government and local authorities in regions and states is sine qua non.
The authorities see the impact of floods, and are taking a proactive approach to dealing with the risks and also providing aid to flood victims nationwide.
If floods happen due to overflowing rivers caused by the deposit of sediment, we must dredge the rivers. Floods have destroyed bridges, causing transportation chaos for local people. We must reconstruct these bridges in a timely manner.
We need to inform and educate the people about the risks and educate the flood victims staying currently at the shelters about water-borne infectious diseases, how to prevent them and how to treat them.
At the same time, strict enforcement on how garbage is disposed should be carried out in regions and states to prevent blockages in drains.
Assessing the risks will result in a series of options for dealing with the flooding in regions and states.
For flood-prone areas, that could mean revising structures such as putting houses on stilts and constructing reinforced bridges that meet minimum standards. It may mean raising roads and utilities.
It could mean retreating from an area. For future development, it means building flood resistance into plans as well as protecting neighbouring structures.
Local authorities in flood-prone areas have their role in drawing up plans and should take a thoughtful approach to dealing with flooding issues.
Preparedness such as digging irrigation channels, ditches, embankments, building multi-purpose shelters for disasters, dredging sand-silted creeks and rehearsing for preparedness for quick response to disasters would be helpful in reducing the impact of natural disasters.
The whole nation should take part in a four-level management system — prevention, preparedness, emergency response and resettlement.
The Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forests and related ministries consider the increase in alluvial deposits in rivers due to deforestation and mineral mining as a national concern because it has caused the level of rivers and creeks to rise, causing more floods during the rainy season.