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tv   Doc Film - Majuli - The Sinking Island  Deutsche Welle  December 17, 2017 12:30am-1:01am CET

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we've lost a lot of land recently because of erosion and. how are we to live without off field. this is only the beginning he gets worse every day it's impossible to survive when i want to come up with. the rivers coming close to our homes what you're going to do while they're in just a few weeks it flooded entire tracts of land. you. don't want to. life here is terrible we could be submerged any moment. they used to be an entire village back there now it's all gone all that's left is the river water look it's all falling away.
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watch out. the people of module a's museum or a village feel like refugees in their own country they're living on land that's being gobbled up little by little by a capricious river the brahmaputra the island of marginally is located in the middle of the wide river with its heavily populated banks the island has been gradually disappearing for decades the erosion seems unstoppable. soon we won't be able to live here anymore. erosions too much don't want to go and whatever. we were about to harvest our rice . made out o. the didn't what i wanted by the hour. i.
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want to hear a noise the brahmaputra and the soup and sciri come together here according to an old legend the day these two rivers unite was a happy day but for us this confluence is a curse we've got hardly any land left and have become refugees it's a huge catastrophe. get jetty all the boats that supply module e. with goods depart from here at them in marty got jetty. it's
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a vital connection to all the islands in the brahmaputra the banks are in danger of breaking away and have to be constantly fortified with sandbags water resources experts from the brahma putra board a government body are tasked with fighting the floods and erosion. now you are fitting the state of our sanity it is in a particularly tricky situation eighty percent of the land is flooded despite all our efforts against erosion of take the island of majeure which is protected as a nature reserve it is now reduced by half in four to five decades time just because of really high erosion that it's not just about a loss of land because think of the poorest of the corps and even the rich become caucus overnight but that's true for all areas of the world at risk of flooding and water. but we have solutions you can reinforce the banks
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with sandbags and erect concrete defenses that's how you can come back to erosion not just on the brahmaputra but elsewhere to. the experts confidence is remarkable in view of the seemingly unstoppable erosion no one here believes that the battle against the force of the river can be successful and as climate change advances if you believe the situation will improve instead people adapt to life with six months of planting six months of a rotation. when the waters to a height we have to stop boat traffic to marginally but we only do that when things get really dangerous we have to fortify the harbor zones with sandbags otherwise we can't dock because of the erosion. the sandbags that we pile up around the shore
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protect the villages behind them and. the erosion is really powerful and it's frightening. despite the protective measures one house after another slides into the water the residents of forced to leave their land and move to the island's interior. marginally is home to one hundred sixty thousand people who sooner or later may all become refugees that's a massive headache for the old art is the government has to find land for those made homeless and compensate farmers who have been ruined the files are piling up this problem has priority over the state of a some every year millions of dollars and made available but the administration
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is overwhelmed by this crisis. it was. about fifteen and a half thousand families are affected many have been resettled it to the mainland he had along the coast that's in the district of joy and we asked the government to look after two thousand four hundred families directly. the remaining seven thousand five hundred and ninety families have fled to elevate a land look this is the artificially elevated stretch. but they live side by side here but very close to the road when the river floods it'll take them with it. how can the question remains how can they protect their land with sandbags practically. it's not practical to pile up lots of sandbags
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we have to build dikes and dance but we mustn't forget about the problem of deforestation. in particular we should be planting big trees. that protects against erosion. we have to concentrate on that in collaboration with the forestry department that. it's possible to watch the island of monte lay shrinking with a water penetrates the soil flooding the ground after every monsoon the land is covered by a lair of sand in the space of just one ear and tired villages were cut off from the main island without roads there in a supplies the people are becoming climate refugees in that one country.
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this year erosion cause severe damage. to some of the most remote villages we are organizing a convoy for the area of mr mora to distribute aid to around two hundred families. what is the situation there today go to the villages and look for yourself. the situation there's extremely worrying. the people i don't have much to eat anymore and they're not safe at night either with. the humanitarian operations help and a very few. counter many impoverished villages on the way to me samarra for a moment they believe our boat will stop and help them they quickly prepare
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a makeshift anchorage force will have to disappoint them. but the handful of aid convoys don't change much either pengo has few illusions about that. only his fields are threatened by erosion the trees were cut down here to create agricultural land as a result the soil has become even more vulnerable. things are getting very tight for us in mr moore there's not much land left for us
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to live on and i'm not just thinking about myself all the other residents are at a loss about what to do in the near. dorado and it up with a look at your i would open the way to here we used to have a huge field but now we have just enough to survive. all of that on the bike and we've lost almost all of our holiday since our rice and lentils wobble nobody. had a bridge in new york was up in two or three days we would have been able to harvest this field this harvest was our only source of food.
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near the way i feel like crying to get and i'm desperate all our work was for nothing. how are things today. a lot of land was lost this morning. and i'm just talking about this morning. how are we going to live. if things don't change in the next few days we'll have to make a decision the village in the fields will flood oh let's wait until tomorrow but i don't have much hope. you can see what we're dealing with here but the government isn't helping us at all i want them in their protective measures i heard to kill us the authorities
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can't find any more land for those made homeless we don't get any compensation for our losses what are the brahmaputra board has tried to protect us but without success it feels like they're abandoning us and welcome them and i'm a man in the book but you know. the people here want to understand why module is drowning in the floods the answer is not simple increasingly heavy monsoon rains a river that's growing as a result of the melting himalayan glassy as massive deforestation and even an earthquake that altered the course of the brahmaputra in one thousand nine hundred fifty but erosion research is making progress professor p.k.
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border lawyer oversees a team of young engineers. of yours the florida news that is there tonight i was and last night i watched a television program it was about a woman. she lives on the julie on the banks of the brahmaputra she cried because a huge landslide had washed away her home in light of the difficult situation the government of assam station the task force there to deal with the erosion and flooding. that was in one thousand nine hundred fifty four since then as sam has lost four hundred thousand hectares of land we can't get that land back. this is what majority looked like with its twelve hundred fifty six square
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kilometers the green section is what existed between one thousand nine hundred nineteen and nine hundred twenty five everything was flooded to this orange area that part disappeared by nine hundred seventy two all we're left with is the violent section. what we other culprit this erosion is largely manmade you've already seen that the vegetation has disappeared but neither you nor i got rid of it that was done by the people living on the banks of the river making the land susceptible to erosion as a result the river changed its course and everything got worse should we be angry with these people think about it why did they do that they knew it would cause problems if they cut down all the trees but they live in such abject poverty it's a vicious circle. so it appears yes i. want.
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it five years ago four or five years ago a tsunami hit the shore of tamil nadu but two or three villages remained completely unharmed they were protected by the mangrove forests that absorbed the shock and kept the surge away we can use this experience in the case of the brahmaputra we need to plant trees and they are our greatest hope with very little money we can work wonders. marginally is home to one man whose story has grabbed public attention he
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recognized the problem of deforestation and tried to solve it on his own over decades the farmer has planted thousands of trees to save the land his name is john daft pieing but everyone calls him forest man. so this before i got it thirty five years ago there was almost nothing but sand here that's when i started planting trees and bringing back the vegetation to places like this. people say my forest has saved this area from a roshon. it's been protected by those trees for thirty five years. you can set up other protective measures in other places but not everywhere it's better to surround majuli with a green dam right. that produces erosion and we might
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even be saved. i've been planting trees for a long time in india people call me forest man and this forest bears my name. we had. my. dad after paying is a tireless activist and a lone warrior when he was twenty it became clear to him what damage deforestation was causing nobody listened to him he was even threatened so he set to work on his own planting seed after seed thirty five years later this place has been transformed into a green paradise it's incredible that this forest is the work of a single man now the people of moderately are helping him as best they can.
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get a little. there this man has brought dad after playing so saplings. they will go well in the forest but this one's not so good when i go the others are flawless i'll plant them over there. and history will grow very tall they're very useful to us. if. april or may and june are the best months for planting trees here
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mardi gras oils can become as dry as the desert that's why we have to be quick i plant the seeds in empty spaces and on small abandoned islands to accelerate the reforestation effort. why more you will not do that until i take my final breath it's my life's work i want to fulfill it. dad astore has gone around the world he has become an inspiration to conservationists sometimes forest man leaves his forests to give lectures and visit schools in india and other countries but never for too long because he has to look after his trees. which over time i've planted many trees they've turned into this huge forest there are big trees
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like those and there are some small ones and robust ones my seeds have turned into strong trees. but this forest now covers four to five hundred hectares i've planted thousands of trees in the years. i got there. now it's home to elephants rhinos and tigers they have returned to the island many plants and animals have found a new home here. for you yet or go to guys with it that's what the forest is there for a home for all living things. the
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forest is almost twice the size of new york's central park the trees stand strong defending the soil against advancing erosion. but here somewhere you know what this isn't doable but they should come here and take a look for themselves. and then they should go home and plant trees it's not that hard. you know by the way that. despite his achievements forest man is far from being adopted into the hindu pantheon in spite of the advancing desire to vacation on the island nobody else is dealing with the problem on the contrary the vulnerable villages continue to cut down trees and bamboo so that they can sell them before the brahmaputra gobbles up everything they're convinced they'll be the last generation to live here their children will
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just have to see what remains of marginally. today is a special day. just after yang is visiting our school. we'll tell us how he's protecting the environment and. listen carefully one another go. now. they go wrong i'm sure you'll have heard of global warming trees play a very important role in that they help us fight climate change around the world that's why we have to protect trees and plant even more and if you see someone cutting down a tree tell him stop it. on the table and why we need these trees
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that you know. you're responsible for the world of tomorrow it can't be t.v. tomorrow. one of the children asks how trees stop erosion. fall only on their roots anchored deep in the ground they form a protective wall against erosion and they stabilize the soil. on to go under to go out and even when a tree falls into the river it's not useless because it slows the current on protecting the other trees on the riverbank they're going to look away to bugger low level tightening up when you're. at it. again and. it looks
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like it'll be your job to plant this tree when it's big it'll help give people a better air to breathe but planting it isn't enough yet it is what they're going to get they can and you have to nurture it and give it all your attention. dad ass efforts are only slowly bearing fruit it's a race against time because the survival of the island is at stake. the eco warrior and tree planter is at least one person air who will never give up
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. and likes to cite the phrase attributed to mahatma gandhi be the change you want to see in the world. and so the forest man does his life's work every day from some lies to sunset. glenn.
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