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APPHOTOS: In India, river islanders face the brunt of increasingly frequent flooding

Yaad Ali, 55, left, and his son Musikur Alam, 14, row a boat to collect drinking water in the floodwaters in Sandahkhaiti, a floating island village in the Brahmaputra River in Morigaon district, Assam, India, Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023. (APPhoto/Anupam Nath)

Yaad Ali, 55, left, and his son Musikur Alam, 14, row a boat to collect drinking water in the floodwaters in Sandahkhaiti, a floating island village in the Brahmaputra River in Morigaon district, Assam, India, Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023. (APPhoto/Anupam Nath)

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MORIGAON, India (鶹ýapp) — Monuwara Begum is growing weary of moving every time water pours into her home.

The 45-year-old farmer, who lives on an island in the mighty Brahmaputra River in the northeastern state of Assam, said she and her family suffer from more violent and erratic floods each year.

They live in knee-deep water inside their small hut, sometimes for days. Cooking, eating and sleeping, even as the river water rises.

Yaad Ali, 55, left, offers prayers as his wife Monuwara Begum, 45, cooks food in their submerged house in Sandahkhaiti, a floating island village in the Brahmaputra River in Morigaon district, Assam, India, Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2023. (APPhoto/Anupam Nath)

Yaad Ali, 55, left, offers prayers as his wife Monuwara Begum, 45, cooks food in their submerged house in Sandahkhaiti, a floating island village in the Brahmaputra River in Morigaon district, Assam, India, Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2023. (APPhoto/Anupam Nath)

Then when the water engulfs their home completely, “we leave everything and try to find some higher ground or shift to the nearest relief camp,” Begum said.

Begum is one of an estimated 240,000 people in the Morigaon district of the state that are dependent on fishing and selling produce like rice, jute and vegetables from their small farms on floating river islands, known locally as Chars.

When it floods, residents of Char islands often row in makeshift rafts with a few belongings, and sometimes livestock, to dry land. They set up temporary homes with mosquito nets.

Yaad Ali, 55, right, and his wife Monuwara Begum, 45, center, and Musikur Alam, 14, stand in their submerged house in Sandahkhaiti, a floating island village in the Brahmaputra River in Morigaon district, Assam, India, Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023. (APPhoto/Anupam Nath)

Yaad Ali, 55, right, and his wife Monuwara Begum, 45, center, and Musikur Alam, 14, stand in their submerged house in Sandahkhaiti, a floating island village in the Brahmaputra River in Morigaon district, Assam, India, Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023. (APPhoto/Anupam Nath)

Having nowhere else to permanently go, they then go back when the water subsides, clean up their homes and resume farming and fishing to make ends meet.

Begum said the river has always intruded on the Chars but it has become much more frequent in recent years.

“We are very poor people. We need the government’s help to survive here since this is our only home. We have nowhere else to go,” she said.

The Assam state government has devised a climate action plan which has guidance on dealing with weather events but the Indian federal government has yet to approve the plan. The state also does not have a separate budget to implement the plan.

Yaad Ali, 55, left, and his wife Monuwara Begum, 45, center, and Musikur Alam, 14, leave their submerged house on a boat in Sandahkhaiti, a floating island village in the Brahmaputra River in Morigaon district, Assam, India, Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023. (APPhoto/Anupam Nath)

Yaad Ali, 55, left, and his wife Monuwara Begum, 45, center, and Musikur Alam, 14, leave their submerged house on a boat in Sandahkhaiti, a floating island village in the Brahmaputra River in Morigaon district, Assam, India, Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023. (APPhoto/Anupam Nath)

Monuwara Begum, 45, cleans utensils before leaving her family's house that is submerged with floodwaters in Sandahkhaiti, a floating island village in the Brahmaputra River in Morigaon district, Assam, India, Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023. (APPhoto/Anupam Nath)

Monuwara Begum, 45, cleans utensils before leaving her family’s house that is submerged with floodwaters in Sandahkhaiti, a floating island village in the Brahmaputra River in Morigaon district, Assam, India, Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023. (APPhoto/Anupam Nath)

Increased rainfall in the region due to climate change has made the Brahmaputra River — already known for its powerful, unpredictable flow — even more dangerous to live near or on one of the more than 2,000 island villages in the middle of it.

India, and Assam state in particular, is seen as one of the world’s most vulnerable regions to climate change because of more intense rain and floods, according to a by the Council on Energy, Environment and Water, a New Delhi-based climate think tank.

Begum and her family, and other Char island dwellers, are on the frontline of this climate-induced fury, year after year.

A sheep stands on a boat near Yaad Ali's submerged house in Sandahkhaiti, a floating island village in the Brahmaputra River in Morigaon district, Assam, India, Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2023. (APPhoto/Anupam Nath)

A sheep stands on a boat near Yaad Ali’s submerged house in Sandahkhaiti, a floating island village in the Brahmaputra River in Morigaon district, Assam, India, Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2023. (APPhoto/Anupam Nath)

Monuwara Begum, 45, feeds a sheep on a boat in the floodwaters in Sandahkhaiti, a floating island village in the Brahmaputra River in Morigaon district, Assam, India, Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2023. (APPhoto/Anupam Nath)

Monuwara Begum, 45, feeds a sheep on a boat in the floodwaters in Sandahkhaiti, a floating island village in the Brahmaputra River in Morigaon district, Assam, India, Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2023. (APPhoto/Anupam Nath)

Yaad Ali, 55, right, and his wife Monuwara Begum, 45, eat a meal in their submerged house in Sandahkhaiti, a floating island village in the Brahmaputra River in Morigaon district, Assam, India, Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023. (APPhoto/Anupam Nath)

Yaad Ali, 55, right, and his wife Monuwara Begum, 45, eat a meal in their submerged house in Sandahkhaiti, a floating island village in the Brahmaputra River in Morigaon district, Assam, India, Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023. (APPhoto/Anupam Nath)

Monuwara Begum, 45, sits with her sheep on a boat near her flooded house in Sandahkhaiti, a floating island village in the Brahmaputra River in Morigaon district, Assam, India, Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2023. (APPhoto/Anupam Nath)

Monuwara Begum, 45, sits with her sheep on a boat near her flooded house in Sandahkhaiti, a floating island village in the Brahmaputra River in Morigaon district, Assam, India, Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2023. (APPhoto/Anupam Nath)

A villager holds her baby as she prepares to leave her submerged house in Sandahkhaiti, a floating island village in the Brahmaputra River in Morigaon district, Assam, India, Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023. (APPhoto/Anupam Nath)

A villager holds her baby as she prepares to leave her submerged house in Sandahkhaiti, a floating island village in the Brahmaputra River in Morigaon district, Assam, India, Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023. (APPhoto/Anupam Nath)

Yaad Ali, 55, left, and his wife Monuwara Begum, 45, center, and Musikur Alam, 14, leave their submerged house on a boat in the floodwaters in Sandahkhaiti, a floating island village in the Brahmaputra River in Morigaon district, Assam, India, Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023. (APPhoto/Anupam Nath)

Yaad Ali, 55, left, and his wife Monuwara Begum, 45, center, and Musikur Alam, 14, leave their submerged house on a boat in the floodwaters in Sandahkhaiti, a floating island village in the Brahmaputra River in Morigaon district, Assam, India, Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023. (APPhoto/Anupam Nath)

Yaad Ali, 55, left, and his son Musikur Alam, 14, row a boat in the floodwaters in Sandahkhaiti, a floating island village in the Brahmaputra River in Morigaon district, Assam, India, Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2023. (APPhoto/Anupam Nath)

Yaad Ali, 55, left, and his son Musikur Alam, 14, row a boat in the floodwaters in Sandahkhaiti, a floating island village in the Brahmaputra River in Morigaon district, Assam, India, Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2023. (APPhoto/Anupam Nath)

A villager carries fire woods on a makeshift raft near a submerged house in the floodwaters in Sandahkhaiti, a floating island village in the Brahmaputra River in Morigaon district, Assam, India, Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023. (APPhoto/Anupam Nath)

A villager carries fire woods on a makeshift raft near a submerged house in the floodwaters in Sandahkhaiti, a floating island village in the Brahmaputra River in Morigaon district, Assam, India, Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023. (APPhoto/Anupam Nath)

Yaad Ali, 55, and his family rows a boat to search for higher ground in Sandahkhaiti, a floating island village the Brahmaputra River in Morigaon district, Assam, India, Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2023. (APPhoto/Anupam Nath)

Yaad Ali, 55, and his family rows a boat to search for higher ground in Sandahkhaiti, a floating island village the Brahmaputra River in Morigaon district, Assam, India, Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2023. (APPhoto/Anupam Nath)

Villagers prepare to leave their submerged house in Sandahkhaiti, a floating island village in the Brahmaputra River in Morigaon district, Assam, India, Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023. (APPhoto/Anupam Nath)

Villagers prepare to leave their submerged house in Sandahkhaiti, a floating island village in the Brahmaputra River in Morigaon district, Assam, India, Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023. (APPhoto/Anupam Nath)

Villagers on a boat leave their submerged house in Sandahkhaiti, a floating island village in the Brahmaputra River in Morigaon district, Assam, India, Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2023. (APPhoto/Anupam Nath)

Villagers on a boat leave their submerged house in Sandahkhaiti, a floating island village in the Brahmaputra River in Morigaon district, Assam, India, Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2023. (APPhoto/Anupam Nath)

Villagers reach higher ground after they left their submerged house in Sandahkhaiti, a floating island village in the Brahmaputra River in Morigaon district, Assam, India, Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2023. (APPhoto/Anupam Nath)

Villagers reach higher ground after they left their submerged house in Sandahkhaiti, a floating island village in the Brahmaputra River in Morigaon district, Assam, India, Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2023. (APPhoto/Anupam Nath)

Musikur Alam, 14, fixes a mosquito net after reaching higher ground near the floodwaters in Sandahkhaiti, a floating island village in the Brahmaputra River in Morigaon district, Assam, India, Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023. (APPhoto/Anupam Nath)

Musikur Alam, 14, fixes a mosquito net after reaching higher ground near the floodwaters in Sandahkhaiti, a floating island village in the Brahmaputra River in Morigaon district, Assam, India, Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023. (APPhoto/Anupam Nath)

Monuwara Begum, 45, right, and Musikur Alam, 14, stand on higher ground surrounded by floodwaters in Sandahkhaiti, a floating island village in the Brahmaputra River in Morigaon district, Assam, India, Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023. (APPhoto/Anupam Nath)

Monuwara Begum, 45, right, and Musikur Alam, 14, stand on higher ground surrounded by floodwaters in Sandahkhaiti, a floating island village in the Brahmaputra River in Morigaon district, Assam, India, Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023. (APPhoto/Anupam Nath)

Monuwara Begum, 45, holds part of a mosquito net after reaching higher ground near the floodwaters in Sandahkhaiti, a floating island village in the Brahmaputra River in Morigaon district, Assam, India, Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023. (APPhoto/Anupam Nath)

Monuwara Begum, 45, holds part of a mosquito net after reaching higher ground near the floodwaters in Sandahkhaiti, a floating island village in the Brahmaputra River in Morigaon district, Assam, India, Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023. (APPhoto/Anupam Nath)

A flood victim sits on a submerged boat dock in Sandahkhaiti, a floating island village in the Brahmaputra River in Morigaon district, Assam, India, Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023. (APPhoto/Anupam Nath)

A flood victim sits on a submerged boat dock in Sandahkhaiti, a floating island village in the Brahmaputra River in Morigaon district, Assam, India, Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023. (APPhoto/Anupam Nath)

Yaad Ali, 55, hands over a pot to his wife Monuwara Begum, 45, after reaching a higher ground in the floodwaters in Sandahkhaiti, a floating island village in the Brahmaputra River in Morigaon district, Assam, India, Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023. (APPhoto/Anupam Nath)

Yaad Ali, 55, hands over a pot to his wife Monuwara Begum, 45, after reaching a higher ground in the floodwaters in Sandahkhaiti, a floating island village in the Brahmaputra River in Morigaon district, Assam, India, Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023. (APPhoto/Anupam Nath)

Villagers prepare to leave their submerged house amid the floodwaters in Sandahkhaiti, a floating island village in the Brahmaputra River in Morigaon district, Assam, India, Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023. (APPhoto/Anupam Nath)

Villagers prepare to leave their submerged house amid the floodwaters in Sandahkhaiti, a floating island village in the Brahmaputra River in Morigaon district, Assam, India, Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023. (APPhoto/Anupam Nath)

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