The Riverbank

Few in Rohmoria speak English but almost everyone knows the English word to describe what has happened to their region over the past 65 years- erosion. And when they talk about themselves, they inevitably point fingers towards the river. Seasonal sandbanks, drifting logs and passing boats become momentary landmarks of their pasts swept away by the Brahmaputra.

The great earthquake of 1950 changed the topography of the region. The Brahmaputra, which in 1916 was only 5 km wide and lay 6 km from Rohmoria, expanded to as wide as 19.7 km in the east of the village in 2008. Official records place the losses over years at 38 villages, 10 schools, six tea gardens, a police station and a highway among other things, but for the people of Rohmoria, the losses go much deeper.

February 2014.