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Karbi villagers in Kohora river basin celebrate World Rivers Day

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Guwahati, Sept 27:  The World Rivers Day was celebrated by in the village of Phumen Engti, Kohora, Karbi Anglong of Assam on September 25, where Langkiri SHG and Phumen Engti Natural Resource Management Committee hosted the event which was supported by region’s leading biodiversityconservation organisation, Aaranyak (www.aaranyak).

Across the globe, the World Rivers Day is celebrated every fourth Sunday in September with the goal of spreading awareness and encouraging people to protect and preserve rivers.

The event was celebrated with the traditional customs of the indigenous Karbi community related to rivers and streams. The Karbis believe that nature is God and all rivers, streams, living, non-living ones have souls protected by benevolent and malevolent deities.

Every year during the Rongker or Chojun (traditional festivals), the Karbi people offerings are always given to appease them and as a sign of respect and thanksgiving for protecting nature and surroundings.  Karbis believe the ritual would bring good fortune, good health, and prosperity to the whole village as water is an important component for all life forms.

Three waterways running through the Phumen Engti village of Kohoraso, Kohorapi, and Langkiri were honoured in a prayer ceremony performed by local priests Prem Terang and Handeswar Engti.

Dhoniram Rongphar expressed his thoughts about the World River Day Celebration saying “We hope that people come out to celebrate and honour the rivers on this day. We use water from these rivers for our daily use. If we can celebrate this day every year this will increase the importance of protecting and saving our rivers.”

This event was made possible by members of the Aaranyak team comprising Randeep Chetia, Bhargavee Rava, and Avinash Phangcho coordinating with the Langkiri SHG’s members, Dhoniram Rongphar, and Sanjit Bey.

Aaranyak has been working with a community-based Natural Resource Management programme in Karbi Anglong district with an aim to safeguard biodiversity and human well-being.

People worldwide are being affected by extreme weather conditions due to the human-induced climate change crisis. Anthropogenic disturbances substantially impact the rivers and its ecology, livelihoods and lives of the local communities who depend on this water source to avail drinking water, irrigation, and other necessary services.

The Northeast India which has vital river ecosystems, is intricately connected to the lives and culture of the local people. However, in today’s time, unsustainable use of our river resources, and pollution is affecting the rivers, and leading to their degradation. This in turn negatively impacts the aquatic biodiversity, and crop cultivation.

 

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