Update from Christian Aid on flooding in Kerala
In what's said to be the worst rains in more than 100 years, over a million people have been affected by the unprecedented flooding in Kerala, southern India – with the loss of more than 400 lives during the monsoon season.
Kerala's floods and landslides have left ruin so terrible that around 200,000 people will be unable to return home for at least six months, Christian Aid estimates. Even among houses that were not completely destroyed, many are now filled with mud, vegetation and rubbish, with collapsed roofs and walls. Many people have lost everything they had.
A further 75,000 people in the south Indian State will never be able to return to properties that have disappeared in the floodwaters or mud or are irreparably damaged, the charity fears.
Christian Aid's partners have been on the ground since the beginning of the disaster and are continuing to respond.
Alongside the local partners IGSSS (Indo-Global Social Service Society) and CASA (Church’s Auxiliary for Social Action), the Christian Aid team has been in Kerala assessing people's needs, identifying the most vulnerable families, and coordinating the delivery of essential relief supplies.
Christian Aid is providing, to 20,000 people across two states in Kerala:
Sanitation supplies, including water filters for communities and 100,000 chlorine water purification tablets
Shelter materials including tarpaulin, rope and blankets
Household kits including buckets, kitchen utensils, bedsheets, underwear
Hygiene essentials such as soap, sanitary pads for women and girls
Dry food rations for families as they leave the relief camps. (NB. The government is providing cooked food in camps)
Regional Co-ordinator for Norfolk Julian Bryant
said, "By Sunday 26 August, we had already reached 12,000 people with emergency supplies and we will reach thousands more in the coming week."
"A major longer-term concern is the loss of livelihood sources such as farmland, labour, crops, stocked grains, seeds, fodder, livestock. Many families have no other livelihood options."
"We're focusing our initial response on supporting 20,000 people in the hard-hit Wayanad district in northern Kerala, and Idukki district in the centre of the state. We are targeting areas in particular where many people are considered to be 'Dalits' and 'Tribals' – among the most deprived and excluded in society."
If people or churches want to give they can do so at: https://www.christianaid.org.uk/emergencies/kerala-floods-appeal
Picture by Christian Aid: Shivani Rana in Kerala