ACT Appeal India - Assam and Bihar: Emergency relief to flood affected ASIN43 (Rev.3)
Appeal Target: US$ 1,760,397
Balance Requested from ACT Alliance: US$ 430,958
Geneva, 25 October 2004
A new wave of incessant rains in the whole of Assam and its catchment areas in neighbouring states started on 6 October triggering a third wave of floods that have increased the plight of the population.
ACT member Church’s Auxiliary for Social Action (CASA) and the Lutheran World Service India (LWSI) are proposing to revise this appeal in order to accommodate the assistance to the new affected population.
Church’s Auxiliary for Social Action (CASA) is proposing to expand the coverage from 25,000 families to 33,000 families in the crisis phase providing food, clothing, blankets and utensils sets. This revision includes only the additional assistance that will be provided.
Lutheran World Service India (LWSI) is proposing to include a further 2,000 families to the 10,000 they are already assisting under the crisis phase of the project and to expand the crisis phase response from 3 to 6 months. As some adjustments to the rehabilitation activities and the completion date have been also included, this revision will replace the original appeal and the first revision.
Project Completion Date: CASA - 18 July 2005 LWSI - 31 December 2005
Summary of Appeal Targets, Pledges/Contributions Received and Balance Requested
|Less: Pledges/Contr Recd||
|Balance Requested from ACT Alliance||
NB: An additional amount of US$ 3,000 has been added for ACT co-ordination/communication.
Please kindly send your contributions to the following ACT bank account:
Account Number – 240-432629.60A (USD)
Account Name: ACT - Action by Churches Together
UBS AG 8,
rue du Rhône
P.O. Box 2600
1211 Geneva 4
Swift address: UBSW CHZH12A
Please also inform the Finance Officer Jessie Kgoroeadira (direct tel. +4122/791.60.38, e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org) of all pledges/contributions and transfers, including funds sent direct to the implementers, now that the Pledge Form is no longer attached to the Appeal.
We would appreciate being informed of any intent to submit applications for EU, USAID and/or other back donor funding and the subsequent results. We thank you in advance for your kind cooperation.
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ACT Co-ordinating Office
I. REQUESTING ACT MEMBER INFORMATION
- Church’s Auxiliary for Social Action (CASA)
II. IMPLEMENTING ACT MEMBER & PARTNER INFORMATION
CASA is registered as a Society under the Societies’ Registration Act XXI of 1860. Its members consist of 24 Protestant and Orthodox Churches in India and CASA functions as the only outreach arm of these Churches. As the Related Agency of the National Council of Churches in India, CASA is mandated to do relief work on behalf of all the Protestant Churches.
CASA has a history of responding to emergencies and disasters since 1947 and is mandated to work in a purely secular manner in all spheres of its programme activities including humanitarian assistance programmes. CASA’s response is regardless of considerations of caste, creed, language, ethnic origin or political affiliation. Priority is given to families belonging to scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, female headed households, the elderly and infirm and economically challenged people. Operating on an all-India basis, CASA responds to 60-70 emergencies – both natural and human-made – per year. CASA has a decentralised disaster preparedness plan created through the establishment of a wide and effective infrastructure network and capacity building programme for CASA staff, representatives of churches, and identified partner organisations, both at the disaster management and grassroots level, who can respond to a call for assistance at short notice. This network is backed by relief materials purchased and pre-stocked at CASA’s warehouses at strategic locations throughout the country.
III. DESCRIPTION OF THE EMERGENCY SITUATION
The states of Assam and Bihar are experiencing the third phase of floods due to incessant rains in the catchment areas of the rivers draining the region.
ASSAM: The incessant rains in the whole of Assam and its catchment areas in neighbouring states started on 6 October triggering a third wave of floods. The affected Districts are Kamrup (Metro), Goalpara, Nagaon, Karbi Anglong, Dhubri, Kamrup(Rural), Morigaon, Sonitpur, Darrang, Jorhat, Golaghat, Dhemaji, Dibrugarh and Lakhimpur, where large areas have been submerged affecting 1.25 million people with flooding and landslides.
SYNOPSIS OF THE SITUATION
|No. of Districts affected||
|No. of villages affected||
|Loss of lives||
210 and increasing
|Loss of Cattle||
|Total population affected||
|Total crop area affected||
|Total area affected||
|People in Relief Camps||
Though waters have receded in most places the trauma that the floods brought continue to remain in people’s mind. The death toll is increasing day by day as corpses are pulled out of the waters. Thousands of livestock carcasses lay scattered where the waters are receding
Thousands of displaced families are still seeking refuge under makeshift shelters on national highways 37 that cuts through the zone of devastation.
WEST BENGAL: Due to heavy rains over a period of four days and release of water from different barrages, the Districts of Burdwan, Birbhum, Howrah, Hooghly, Nadia, Murshidabad, Malda, North 24 Parganas in West Bengal are affected by flooding. On 8 October 2004 rainfall measured around 138mm. The most affected districts are Murshidabad and Malda. Out of 26 Blocks, 20 are severely affected – with Farrak, Sansergunj, Suti I & II, Nebargram, Bharatpur I & II, part of Raghunathgunjand Bhagwangola Blocks the worst affected. The total population affected is 1,665,471 and the death toll in West Bengal currently stands at 22. Around 29,563 houses have been destroyed and approximately 1,04,318 houses damaged to some extent. Crops on 44,770 hectares of land have been completed destroyed. More than 40,000 head of livestock have been lost or killed and around 80,072 poultry have been killed by floods in Murshidabad District.
The Relief Minister and Finance Minister of West Bengal visited Murshidabad District and although assurances were given concerning relief supplies, the quantity, quality, uniformity and speed of the relief measures are major concerns and need to be supplemented by the NGO's.
SYNOPSIS OF THE SITUATION
|Total no. of Districts affected||
|Total no. of villages affected||
Approximately 1.66 million
|Casualties: Human lives lost||
|No. of houses affected||
|Crop Area affected||
.447 million hectares
The flood has caused widespread damage to human life and property, standing crops, flood control embankments and other basic infrastructure. Thousands have lost their belongings in the swirling flood waters and are faced with scarcity of shelter, food and clothing.
To mitigate the effects of this catastrophic situation CASA plans to take up relief work in six severely affected areas in Assam and West Bengal. The primary emphasis of CASA’s relief programme will be to provide the affected population with foodgrain, clothing, blankets and utensils. These measures aim to provide immediate relief in a speedy and effective manner during this crisis phase.
Key Problems and Issues
FOOD: The impact of the floods on the most marginalised and vulnerable sections of the society has primarily been the disruption of gainful employment and loss of food commodities due to the inundation. While food is available the poor lack purchasing power to access it. Consequently millions of people are faced with hunger and deprivation.
HOUSEHOLD ARTICLES: Many families have lost household articles and are therefore deprived of basic necessities such as clothing, bedding, and utensils. This situation is detrimental to their health and dignity and requires external assistance.
GENDER AND WOMEN'S NEEDS: The flood has imposed the heaviest burden on the women who have to look after the welfare of the entire family in abnormal and adverse conditions. Their needs are of critical importance and need to be responded to as a priority.
Impact on Human Lives
Millions of people have been affected and 232 deaths have so far been officially reported in both Assam and West Bengal. There is severe disruption in communication as roads have been completely cut off in many places. Because of the inundation, communication from one village to another is a major problem. In large parts of the state the electricity supply has been badly affected and hand water pumps have been contaminated. Standing crops have been destroyed in the affected areas. The sources of livelihood have been adversely affected and there is large scale loss of personal and public property. People belonging to backward and marginalised sections are the worst off having no resources to fallback on. The living conditions in the affected areas are appalling and people are not being provided basic necessities. It is essential for their survival and recovery that timely and precise relief is provided.
Description of Damages
The overall damage is estimated to be in the thousands of millions of rupees and thousands of houses are damaged or destroyed. Given the nature of construction in the rural areas, where mud huts with thatched roofs are the norm, it is not surprising that the damage is so high. The loss to crops and livestock is phenomenal. In addition, there is extensive damage to road, rail, and other infrastructure.
Generally, there are no prevalent security threats. CASA and its partner NGO and Church organisations have been working in this area for many years, and have established a good rapport not only with the villages but also with officials at different levels. This rapport itself provides a security cover to CASA personnel and to the operations carried. It is unlikely that there will be any threat to the vehicles carrying food and relief material.
Locations for proposed response
ASSAM: CASA has mobilised relief teams which will be operating in the affected areas of Goalpara and Morigaon districts. The teams will consist of staff from the Development Programme in north east India (DPNEI), partner organisation personnel and volunteers.
WEST BENGAL: CASA has mobilised relief teams which will be operating in the affected villages of Murshidabad and Nadia districts. The teams will consist of staff from the Emergency Department of the East Zone, partner organisation personnel and volunteers.
Each team has adequate manpower and logistical support, to undertake surveys and relief distribution simultaneously. Warehousing facilities have been arranged in each state. CASA senior staff from the East Zone will be co-ordinating operations from the Guwahati/Kolkata offices and will ensure co-ordination with the Government, other NGOs, major church agencies and other grassroots partner organisations.
IV. TARGETED BENEFICIARIES
CASA will be assisting a further 8,000 of the most affected families of the recent flash floods for the relief part of the programme. Priority will be given to the most vulnerable sections among those affected such as women and children.
Out of the total allocation for relief 2,000 families will be covered in Assam and 6,000 in West Bengal.
Criteria used in Beneficiary Selection
CASA, in co-operation with its partner agencies, is in the process of identifying the beneficiaries. The assistance of the local government agencies and the village leaders will also be taken in the identification process, which will seek to identify those whose needs are the greatest. This may be measured in terms of the relative loss suffered (both in terms of people and property), socioeconomic background of the selected beneficiaries, and also the vulnerability factor of women and children, along with the elderly and infirm.
Women's Needs: women are the most severely affected by the floods and experience the heaviest burden as they have to look after the welfare of the entire family in abnormal and adverse conditions. Their needs are of critical importance. The provision of food and clothing and utensils will go a long way in reducing their hardship.
Primary Stakeholders: These are families belonging to the weakest section of society, particularly marginal and landless farmers, female headed households, children and those with low access to basic services, that are displaced due to flooding and consequent loss/damage of their houses.
Secondary Stakeholders: These include Panchayati Raj (local self government) leaders, local NGOs and CBOs, Block Development Officers and District and State level relief, revenue disaster management and rehabilitation bureaucrats and co-ordinators.
Local participation: CASA adopts a participatory approach to its programmes and places emphasis on local capacity building, education, awareness and training. Participation by the secondary stakeholders is expected to result in a wider impact of the programme. CASA will ensure active involvement and participation of the beneficiaries, partner organisations and Panchayat leaders in the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the project activities.
V. PROPOSED EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE & IMPLEMENTATION
The goal of the project will be to mitigate the effects of the floods on the population and help them on the path to recovery.
The specific objectives of the project are:
• To provide food through distribution of food grain (rice)
• To provide clothing, blankets and utensil sets to the affected families
• To reduce indebtedness of the vulnerable sections of society in the affected areas.
The reduction of indebtedness is seen as a secondary outcome in that rural indebtedness is found to increase in the aftermath of most disasters. This relates to the displacement of people, temporary cessation of gainful employment, damage/loss of household goods, livestock and property. In order to survive during this critical period the poor and marginalised sections of the community have to resort to taking loans from money lenders and land owners, etc. The provision of food, clothing and household articles addresses many of the survival needs of the flood victims and thereby reduces the pressure on them to take such loans.
Activities and Outputs
• Provision of food grain (rice) to 8,000 families for 7 days • Provision of clothing, blankets and utensil sets to 8,000 families.
Description of Assistance
In view of the present emergency situation, assistance in terms of food and household belonging is required. Through this emergency intervention it is proposed to do the following:
FOOD It is proposed to purchase 160,000kgs of rice to be distributed at the rate of 20kgs per family. This will be purchased locally. The programme will aim to provide staple food grain to 2,000 families in Assam and 6,000 families in West Bengal. Availability of food grain enables people to cook their own food as per their own need and taste. It minimises the dependency of sporadic distribution of cooked food. The provision of a 7-day ration also encourages people to return home as soon as the waters recedes since they can immediately start with the repair / rebuilding of their houses without having to worry about food.
HOUSEHOLD ARTICLES 8,000 relief sets will be provided. Each set will consist of one woollen blanket, one dhoti (a garment worn by the men), two pieces of printed cloth 2.5 metres each for the women/girls in Assam and one saree in west Bengal. All these articles are available in CASA’s pre-stocking at Guwahati and Kolkata and will be replenished later.
Project implementation methodology
CASA will be the main implementing partner and will be directly responsible to the resource sharing partners in all respects.
The existing CASA staff will be used for organising the various activities and the CASA Delhi headquarters will co-ordinate the overall operation which includes expertise in disaster response, logistics and emergency communications.
Eight Field Staff will work entirely for this project and will be responsible for the implementation, management, monitoring and reporting for the field activities. A budget line is included to cover the cost of their boarding and lodging.
In addition eight volunteers will work with CASA staff for this project in Assam and West Bengal states and will be allocated full time for this project in the co-ordinating office at the zonal level.
A daily allowance is provided to both staff and volunteers and is based on the established scale of the organisation.
The relief material will be sourced from CASA’s existing disaster preparedness stocks. The rice will be purchased locally by specifically deputed procurement committees. These committees will include staff, partner and church representatives.
On completion of the needs survey the distribution of relief material will begin. Members of the target group will be involved in identification of families who will receive the food grain and relief sets. If feasible, assistance of the local community will also be solicited during the actual distribution of the relief material. Government and local church representatives will be invited to witness the distribution wherever possible.
In the budget allocations are made for truck rental and related costs to transport the relief materials. It includes budget lines for • cross-country movement of relief material to local warehouse and distribution points • the hire charges of 2 four-wheel vehicles i.e. 1 vehicle in Assam and 1 in West Bengal which will be used for flood relief programme have been projected. These vehicles will be used by CASA staff.
Planning assumption, constraints and prioritization
The floods have impacted the flow of food and other supplies to the states. This situation has become grimmer due to the decreasing purchasing power of the people. It will be a challenge for the proposed project to tap the outlets for food grain. The rates are fluctuating currently towards the higher side due to the demand-supply gap. Transportation will be another area of concern, due to damage to the road infrastructure. Electricity and telecommunication facilities in the rural areas are not expected to be restored immediately. Inundation, water logging, disruption of road communications and shortage of country boats will continue to pose problems.
The total relief project duration for this sub-project will be one month from its inception. CASA proposes commencing project activities on 20 October 2004, however, this will depend upon timely mobilisation of resources.
Transition From Emergency
CASA and its partner organisations are already engaged in long-term development programmes in these areas. The support provided through this intervention will reduce the negative impact of flooding on the ongoing development work and the forward integration will be smooth as the organisations have resources for long-term interventions.
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