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Over 31 million people displaced by floods in India

Floods in India this year have been the worst in recent memoy, claiming more than 5,900 lives and displacing over 31 million across 20 states since June. Unlike other years, many areas received more than 25 cm of rainfall in 24 hours.

Many pockets received 30 to 50 % of the annual rainfall within 30 days from mid June to mid July.

Assessing the damage

A comprehensive assessment by the Ministry of Home Affairs says that during this year’s monsoon, as well as the loss of human lives, 68,160 livestock have perished.

The floods affected over 2.1 million hectares of agricultural land, and damaged 592,427 houses, of which 131,754 were completely destroyed. Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Orissa and West Bengal were the worst affected both in terms of lives lost and property damaged due to repeated flooding.

Intervention

International NGOs have been coordinating the relief response with government agencies effectively through a new initiative called Inter Agency Groups or IAGs. Up until the end of July reports were that the immediate needs for food were being met by local NGOs and local administration.

A group of international NGOs are providing support for safe drinking water and hygiene. 

Concern’s reponse in Orissa

In Orissa, Concern will be working with a local partner to re-establish livelihoods for 4,000 severely affected families. This includes distributing seeds for the next crop season and waged employment for the casual and agricultural labourers. Employment will include repairing damaged houses and raising land plots for homesteads, to reduce the community’s vulnerability from flooding in the future. 

Concern’s response to Bihar floods

Concern is providing food and non food items to 10,000 flood-affected households in Madhubani, Darbanga and Sitamarhi districts of Bihar. The relief is being carried out by local partner GPSVS with other local organisations supporting them. Distributions started on 22 August.

The individual packages include dry food for 10 days: “sattu” (Bengal chickpea powder which is ready to eat), flattened rice, salt, drinking water and oral re-hydration salts. In addition to this, tarpaulin sheets will be provided to 6,500 households and cooking utensil sets to 4,000 households.