Why ‘room for river’ may not be enough to keep Kuttanad afloat

Shaji Mol and Madhu in front of their stilt house in Kuttanad. The couple no longer lives in the fear of floodwater entering their house. Photos: Shahina KK/PTI

Shaji Mol and her husband Madhu remember spending sleepless nights fearing floodwaters would gush through their house. They wouldn’t know how to leave and where to reach in the dark since flood water inundated the entire area of Kainakari Panchayat in Kuttanad.

The days proved no better apart from the fact that sunlight provided visibility to scurry through their belongings, collect the bare minimum possible and wade through the waters to reach the nearest relief camp, which sometimes was kilometres away.

“We are born and brought up here. Overflowing of the rivers is nothing new to us, but life had become terrible after the scale of 2018 disaster,” says Shaji Mol, recalling the days and weeks spent in relief camps.

Not anymore.

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