Forest dept distributes relief to flood-affected

MER, Aug 8: Officials of the Pasighat forest division in East Siang district, led by Divisional Forest Officer (Territorial) Tashi Mize, on Thursday distributed relief materials among the flood-affected families of Mer village.
The relief materials, which included edible items and livestock medicines, were sponsored by the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) under its Rapid Action Project.
Mer, which is located on the outskirt of the Daying Ering Wildlife Sanctuary (DEWS), is around 39 kms from district headquarters Pasighat. It is surrounded by the Dotung river in the east, the Taro Tamak river in the west, and the Siang river in the south, due to which the village suffers heavy floods every monsoon and remains cut off from the rest of the district.
The village has around 148 households, with a population of over 1200.
Addressing the locals after handing over the relief items, Mize said that, besides helping the villagers in their time of need, the distribution programme was an initiative of the WTI and the Pasighat forest division to spread awareness on wildlife and forest protection.
Describing deforestation as one of the main contributors to small-scale natural disasters like floods and landslides, Mize said, “People should preserve and conserve the forest resources in order to avoid large-scale devastation in the future.”
He said deforestation and unabated destruction of flora and fauna invite natural calamities in one way or the other, “so we need your support in maintaining biodiversity and ecological balance, which is essential for all living organisms.”
The village’s head gaon burah and others while expressing gratitude for the assistance expressed willingness to donate a piece of land for establishing a community conserved area in the village.
The villagers also resolved to protect the elephant corridor for the movement of elephants from the DEWS to the Dibru-Saikhowa National Park in Assam, and vice versa.
Among others, Range Forest Officers O Tayeng and J Geyi, and forest officials from the Mebo forest range were present on the occasion.