ACT Appeal India - Assam: Assistance to flood affected - ASIN-33 (Revision 1)
Appeal Target: US$ 656,232
Balance Requested from ACT Network: US$ 612,232
Geneva, 25 July 2003
Incessant rains have pounded Assam since the first week of July 2003 causing the main river Brahmaputra and its tributaries in upper Assam to overflow and flood 20 districts. About 2,300,000 people have been affected by the floods and the death toll has risen to 50 in Assam alone. The communication systems are also seriously disrupted. The flood situation in Goalpara district is the worst with the rivers inundating 453 villages and affecting 285,000 people. The army has been deployed to assist in rescuing stranded people. Thousands of families have been rendered homeless and taken shelter in makeshift relief camps put up by the government or have taken shelter on higher land / embankments.
ACT member the Lutheran World Service India (LWSI) is proposing to assist the most vulnerable affected families in Dhubri and Goalpara Districts with supplementary feeding for children and nursing mothers, non-food relief kits and temporary shelter (plastic sheeting), dry food rations, water and sanitation as well as a health assistance.
This Appeal focuses on the crisis phase only. ACT members in the region, Church's Auxiliary for Social Action (CASA) and LWSI are already responding by using their pre- stocked emergency materials. At the same time surveys are being conducted and distribution procedures are being finalised. ACT CO is in contact with the ACT members related to the expected follow up post crisis phase. CASA and LWSI are co-ordinating their responses.
For the sake of brevity this revision concerns the LWSI proposal only. The CASA proposal remains as in the original ASIN33 appeal issued on 18 July.
Project Completion Date:
CASA - 30 September 2003
LWSI - 15 October 2003
Summary of Appeal Targets, Pledges/Contributions Received and Balance Requested
Total Target US$
|Total Appeal Target/s||
|Less: Pledges/Contr. Recd||
|Balance Requested from ACT Network||
Please kindly send your contributions to the following ACT bank account:
Account Number - 240-432629.60A (USD)
Account Name: ACT - Action by Churches Together
PO Box 2600
1211 Geneva 2
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.
I. REQUESTING ACT MEMBER INFORMATION
- The Lutheran World Federation/Department for World Service India Programme (LWSI)
II. IMPLEMENTING ACT MEMBER & PARTNER INFORMATION
The Lutheran World Federation/Department for World Service-India Programme (ACT/LWS-India) is a relief and development organisation, established with the mandate to alleviate the suffering of distressed groups irrespective of caste, religion, gender or political affiliation. ACT/LWS India has been implementing Integrated Development and Disaster Response projects since 1974 in several States of India. LWS India program continues to receive strong support and co-operation from the respective State Governments and International donors. LWS India is a nominated member of the State level High Powered Committee on Disaster Management. LWF being one of the sponsor organisations of the 'Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in Disaster Relief', LWS India designs its disaster response intervention accordingly and, where ever feasible, LWS India follows the Sphere standard in disaster assistance.
III. DESCRIPRTION of the EMERGENCY SITUATION
Incessant rains have pounded Assam since the first week of July 2003 causing the main river Brahmaputra and its tributaries in upper Assam to overflow and flood 20 districts. The worst hit are, Dhemaji, Goalpara, Kamrup, Nalbari, Balijana, Lakhimpur, Karimganj, Jorhat, Morigaon, Hailakandi, and Guwahati. About 2,300,000 people have been affected by the floods and the death toll has risen to 50 in Assam. The communication systems are also seriously disrupted. The flood situation in Goalpara district is the worst with the rivers inundating 453 villages and affecting 285,000 people. The army has been deployed to assist in rescuing stranded people. Thousands of families have been rendered homeless and taken shelter in makeshift relief camps put up by the government or have taken shelter on higher land / embankments. The famous Kajirangha Wild Life Sanctury has also been affected by flooding and the rhinoceroses and other animals have fled to comparatively high places to escape the waters.
Near the capital of Assam, the level of the Brahmaputra rose to 50.99 meters, which is 1.31 meters above the danger level and only 0.33 meters less than the highest-ever, recorded in 1988.
ACT/LWS India has mobilised plastic sheets from CIDA/CLWR stock, BP-5 Compact Food from NCA stock pile, water purification tablets, bleaching powder and lime have been pre-financed by LWS-India against this appeal. Two LWSI Rapid Relief teams are operating in the Dhubri and Goalpara districts of Assam.
The State Flood Co-ordination Committee reported after reviewing the flood situation that conditions were most critical in Goalpara, Dhemaji, Nalbari, Karimganj and Jorhat districts. The Traun Gogoi government sent an SOS to Delhi as a 32 km embankment beginning just 7 km from the Airport Guawhati showed signs of giving way to the rushing waters of the Brahmaputra. Even a small breach in the dyke would lead to a catastrophe in the area. Government boats and vehicles are being pressed into service to carry foods stuff and medicines to the needy areas. Most of the drinking water sources and open wells have been immersed and contaminated by flood waters so there is an urgent need for potable water and tube wells in the areas.
Impact on human lives
The government is gearing up its relief measures in the affected areas but it is clearly not sufficient to cater to the vast needs. NGOs and several medical teams are working round-the-clock until a semblance of normalcy is restored. Many people have no shelter over their heads, insufficient food and are forced to drink filthy water. People from the marooned villages fled with only a few belongings. The children are receiving only one meal a day and weaning children receive no extra food other than the breast milk from their mothers. Many are suffering from various ailments such as coughs, scabies and diarrhoea. Most of the families evacuated from the worst affected villages are sheltering on the embankments and in camps and are expected to have to live there till the end of the Monsoon season, i.e. the middle of September. As the water level of the River Brahmaputra will continue to decrease and increase during the monsoon season the crisis phase is expected to be prolonged.
Location of Proposed Responses
ACT/LWS India is responding in the Dhubri and Goalpara Districts of Assam.
- DHUBRI DISTRICT: The flood situation remains unchanged with the river Bramhaputra flowing above danger level. National Highway-31 has been submerged in some places. 981 families in 18 villages have lost their homes to erosion which is continuing in 87 villages where homes are gradually disappearing due to the high flood waters. Relief supplies have been distributed to the affected population.
ACT/LWS India is already present in Dhubri district where its flood and cyclone rehabilitation activities under earlier ACT appeals (ASIN23 and ASIN32) are ongoing.
- GOALPARA DISTRICT: The flood situation in this district is still critical. The Brahmaputra river is flowing above danger level but appears to be receding. Road communications over all the PWD roads in Lakhipur circle still remain disrupted. Rescue operations are ongoing with 122 additional motor boats provided by the district administration. Affected people are still sheltering at nearby high schools or on higher land/embankments and 128 spontaneous camps have been set up. People are facing a lack of potable water in the affected areas and water purifying tablets and bleaching powder are urgently needed.
ACT/LWSI rapid assessment team consisting of experienced members from the existing projects has already been sent to Goalpara district. The Goalpara district headquarters is approximately 150 km from the present LWS India project in Dhubri district. The team is continuing to conduct surveys to identify the most vulnerable areas, population affected and the actual needs.
The Deputy Commissioner of Goalpara district has requested LWS India mobilise essential supplies such as baby foods, medicines, water purifiers, plastic sheeting for temporary shelter and clothes. Information received from the district authority revealed that vast areas under Balijana, Lakhinpur, Jaleswar, Matia blocks and Goalpara town have been devastated by the flood waters. According to the Deputy Commissioner, about 70,800 hectares of land are submerged by flood water affecting more than 452 villages in Goalpara district with a population of 285,000. 122 relief camps have been set up. Relief materials such as food and polythene sheets are being distributed but the supplies are very minimal in comparison to the vast needs.
The displaced people sheltering in the relief camps or embankments are facing a shortage of food - especially young children 0 - 6 years and nursing mothers who are the most vulnerable groups in a situation of displacement.
Affected families are living under the open sky without roofing materials to protect them from the sun and rain.
Food supplies are irregular and clearly insufficient compared with the great need.
Marooned families fled from their houses without being able to take any belongings - many just have the clothes they are wearing.
The traditional houses of the displaced families have been damaged by the floods and, when the waters recede many will collapse or need major repairs. The most vulnerable families will be unable to rebuild without external assistance.
The families that taken shelter in relief camps or on the embankments are forced to use contaminated water from the rivers or ponds leading to water borne diseases.
There are serious sanitation and consequently, health problems with people living in such close proximity and without any sanitation facilities.
Village infrastructures such as link roads and embankments have been damaged and or cut off paralysing communications.
This appeal revision focuses on the Crisis Phase only. However, ACT/LWS India is also planning to implement a post crisis phase (to follow this crisis phase) to help people in their return to their villages after the flood waters have subsided. In the post crisis phase attention will be given to water and sanitation, shelter rehabilitation, food for work and capacity building on Community Based Disaster Preparedness.
IV. GOAL & OBJECTIVES
Goal: The project aims to provide life saving and life sustaining assistance to socially and economically marginalised sections of the population affected by the floods and thereby enable them to return to normal life conditions with dignity.
Provide nutritious foods to the children and nursing mothers to supplement the daily calorie requirement.
Provide non-food (family relief kits) items such as clothes, bed sheets, and woollen blankets to each vulnerable family affected by the floods.
Provision of plastic sheeting for temporary shelter while the families are rebuilding their houses.
Provision of dry food assistance to the poor, marginalised, female headed and disabled families for two months specifically during the lean period to discourage migration and assist them in rebuilding their houses.
Provision of potable water.
Sanitation assistance to maintain an acceptable level of cleanliness in the camps as well as in the villages.
Provision of free medicines to the poor and marginalised people to protect them from common ailments such as diarrhoea, malaria, scabies, dysentery, colds and coughs.
V. TARGETED BENEFICIARIES
ACT/LWS India will provide relief assistance to the most vulnerable among the flood affected such as the landless and marginalised families belonging to the scheduled caste, tribal and other backward communities. Those families with income below the poverty line and female headed households will also be assisted on a priority basis.
These families will be identified on the basis of criteria such as ;
- Poor and marginalised section of society
- Female headed households
- Physically disabled
- Those who have received no adequate support
More detailed information on actual beneficiaries is being collected during the survey / rapid relief distribution. This will be shared in a revision and/or the reports.
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