Drought in The World’s Wettest Place – Cherrapunjee

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I had the chance to visit one of the world’s “wettest places” in India’s northeast region.

Cherrapunjee, surrounded by mountains in Meghalaya state and located on the path of the monsoon from the Bay of Bengal, set a world record for rainfall in a year in 1861 with 22,987mm. This place has an average rainfall of more than 10,000mm, which is 7-8 times more than the rainfall in Tokyo.

Despite how wet Cherrapunjee is, people in the villages began suffering from water shortages during the dry season between December and March in recent years. I visited the area during the midst of dry season. The long queue of buckets and tin cans are seen in front of community water taps. Villagers said that they only get 2 hours of water supply daily.

Of course, global warming is mainly blamed. Rainfall has been down almost 20 percent in the last 10 years and the dry season has become longer. Average temperature is now up 2-3 degrees. Also, the town’s population has increased more than 15 times over the last 40 years.

They still have a decent amount of rainfall, and you would think that building more water tanks would solve the problem.  That’s right, but they don’t have enough money. It’s the northeast region – one of India’s most ignored and left-behind places.

It’s been awhile since we started talking about global warming, and there is no place in the world that has escaped the damage. The pollution created by cities also contaminates remote lands like Cherrapunjee.

I was told that Cherrapunjee means “the home of clouds” in Sanskrit. I didn’t know rainfall could be a tourist attraction but lots of tourists used to visit there to see the thick clouds surrounding the mountains and the many waterfalls. Villagers said that the number has declined, especially of foreign tourists. No one is interested in dry Cherrapunjee…












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