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Floods in Bihar, India

On 18 August, heavy rains caused a dam on the River Kosi to burst, triggering subsequent flooding in Nepal and Bihar.

The Kosi River, in the Indian state of Bihar, is often called the "river of sorrow", as it frequently causes floods. This dramatic increase in water volume caused the Kosi to change course, severely affecting areas not normally prone to flooding.

More than three million people have been affected and scores have died in the floods. Over 300 relief camps have been set up in the flood-hit districts.

Government-run camps accommodate less than 10% of the displaced people and the rest are living in unorganised camps, road sides or open grounds on their own.

Focus on relief camps

The focus of Concern’s response will be on people who have settled temporarily in relief camps. Large numbers of people have moved to these camps, on public or private land and are without the basic facilities like shelter, water and sanitation or food support.

Initially, Concern is supporting 30,000 people with available resources, hoping to increase operations providing basic humanitarian assistance to up to approximately 50,000 people.

Food rations

The government is expected to provide food rations to the entire flood-affected people. This could take some time to materialise, so in the interim, Concern is proposing to provide food rations for 15 days. This would include some dry foods which are ready to eat, as well as rice and lentils.

Non-food items will be distributed to those in the camps, including plastic matting, serving plates, cooking utensils and buckets.

Concern is proposing to install some tube-wells, low-cost community latrines and bathrooms to assist the government’s sanitation work. Community halls will be constructed, especially in camps where people will forced to stay for longer, to accommodate common activities and meetings.

Working with partners

Concern is working with two local partners, GPSVS and Nav Jagriti. Both are part of an NGO network that is actively involved in flood disaster management in Bihar.