Home » Khwairamband Keithel faces unprecedented flooding as incessant rains batter Manipur

Khwairamband Keithel faces unprecedented flooding as incessant rains batter Manipur

by Aribam Bishwajit
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Khwairamband Keithel faces unprecedented flooding as incessant rains batter Manipur

By – Aribam Bishwajit
Imphal, May 30:

Khwairamband Keithel, the bustling commercial hub of Manipur, is currently grappling with severe flooding as unrelenting rains continue to wreak havoc across the region. For the first time in many years, water levels have risen to over waist height, submerging shops and stalls and causing significant disruption to daily life.
The relentless downpour over the past few days has led to widespread flooding, impacting hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses. Residents and shopkeepers are struggling to cope with the deluge, which has brought commerce and routine activities to a complete standstill. “This level of flooding is something we have not seen in many years,” said a local vendor, wading through the waterlogged streets.
The three Nupi Keithel, renowned globally as one of the few markets operated solely by women, had to close its doors today. Many women vendors were seen hurriedly relocating their goods to higher ground in an effort to save their livelihoods. The market’s closure is a significant blow to the local economy, given its cultural and commercial importance.
Emergency services are on high alert, with efforts underway to provide relief and prevent further damage. Despite their efforts, the situation remains critical, with many areas still inaccessible due to high water levels. Authorities are urging residents to stay indoors and avoid unnecessary travel.
In an unusual turn of events, the flooding has also drawn curious onlookers. Many residents have ventured out to witness the rare sight, with some taking photographs in front of Imphal’s iconic “Samu Makhong” statue. Children accompanied by their parents were seen marveling at the waterlogged streets, marking a historic moment for the younger generation.
The situation is equally dire in Paona Bazar, where many cars and other vehicles are half-submerged, and all shops have been shuttered. The flooding has also highlighted issues with the city’s waste management system, as waste materials were seen flowing through the streets, exacerbating the chaos. Residents in the area were seen carrying their belongings to safer locations, seeking refuge from the rising waters.
Many volunteers were also seen helping the elderly to relocate with their goods and valuables. These acts of solidarity highlight the community’s resilience and determination to support one another during such trying times. Many women who have been selling goods in the three Nupi Keithels stood by, watching the floods with dismay, knowing there was little chance of customers braving the waters to buy their items.
Under the Bir Tikendrajit Flyover Bridge in the Uripok area, street vendors continued selling vegetables to earn their livelihood, despite the adverse conditions. These vendors, driven by necessity, braved the elements as they had no other means to support themselves and their families.
A woman accompanying her two grandchildren expressed the compounded hardships the people of Manipur have been enduring. “We have been facing problem after problem,” she lamented. “First, the war between two communities, then, there were hailstorms that shattered many homes, and now this flood, which has damaged many houses and livelihoods.”
The flooding has not only impacted the Khwairamband areas but has also devastated many parts of the state, highlighting the urgent need for both government and public intervention to prevent further catastrophe. In this time of despair, it is crucial for the public to engage in constructive dialogue, setting aside political interests to focus on saving lives and protecting homes. Unity and cooperation are essential to navigate through this crisis and build a safer, more resilient future for Manipur.
The current flood in Manipur serves as a stark reminder for both the government and the public to take proactive measures to control and prevent future flooding. Social media discourse has pointed to mass deforestation in the hills and the cutting of trees near riversides as major contributors to the disaster. These environmental issues, exacerbated by poor urban planning and inadequate infrastructure, have significantly increased the region’s vulnerability to flooding.
The government, authorities, and all stakeholders must engage in a comprehensive dialogue to identify the primary causes of such disasters and develop effective strategies to mitigate them. This includes reforestation efforts, stricter regulations on deforestation, improved waste management systems, and the construction of better drainage and flood control infrastructure.
Moreover, climate change’s role in intensifying weather patterns cannot be ignored. As extreme weather events become more frequent, Manipur must invest in climate-resilient infrastructure and adopt sustainable practices to safeguard its communities. Public awareness campaigns and community engagement are essential to foster a culture of preparedness and resilience.
In the immediate aftermath of the flooding, relief efforts must prioritize the most vulnerable, including the elderly, women, and children. Providing temporary shelters, food, clean water, and medical assistance is crucial to prevent further suffering. Long-term recovery will require coordinated efforts from government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and the community.
The people of Manipur have demonstrated remarkable resilience and solidarity in the face of adversity. Their spirit will be vital in overcoming the current crisis and building a more resilient and prepared future. As the waters recede, the focus must shift to rebuilding not just the physical infrastructure, but also the social and economic fabric of the affected communities.

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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