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Millions more affected by continuous rains in India

Several parts of India continue to receive heavy rains, affecting many millions of people.Though major rivers are receding somewhat, they are still dangerously high and the monsoon is still not over yet.

A large number of people have been forced to take to the roads with their cattle in search of shelter, causing traffic congestion. The floods have damaged vast stretches of national and state highways making transportation of goods and people extremely costly and challenging. Relief and rehabilitation work has been hampered by repeated flooding. 

The death toll from this year’s flooding and rains has risen to 2,415 as of 5 September 2007.

Bihar

21,483 million people have been reported to have been affected by the floods in Bihar, alone. 

More than a million people have been displaced for more than 45 days and it may take another month or so before they can go back to their homes. The extent of house damage can only be assessed after the water recedes fully.

Concern’s Bihar flood relief programme

Concern is working with local organisations, GPSVS and Nav Jagriti, to provide relief to 10,000 affected households in three districts in the Bihar region. They are distributing packages consisting of food for 10 days, including “sattu” – Bengal chickpea powder which is ready to eat – flattened rice, molasses and salt. Distribution of non-food items such as drinking water and oral re-hydration salts began on 22 August.

In addition to this, tarpaulin sheets for 6,500 families and cooking utensil sets have been distributed to 4,000 households whose homes have been washed away. Unfortunately, distributions could not go on as planned and have been delayed and interrupted several times by flooding, road blockades, landslides and badly damaged roads.

Orissa

The number of people affected by the floods in Orissa has risen above 1.6 million.
Orissa is now facing an outbreak of diarrhoea and cholera. This is happening because locals are drinking water from stagnant pools of water and eating contaminated meat because of a lack of safe alternatives.

Flood rehabilitation in Orissa

Concern is looking to increase the scope of its initial rehabilitation programme, which now targets 14,000 severely affected families over six months in three districts of Orissa. Working with five local partners, this programme will focus on securing supplies of food and re-establishing people’s livelihoods. 

Beginning 15 September, this will also entail agricultural support, including the distribution of seeds and tools, and waged employment. Platforms of tube wells will be raised to make them safe even during flooding. During this phase, training will be conducted with local partner organisations and community leaders on how best to prepare against future disasters.