India

ACT Appeal India: Floods in Assam, Orissa & West Bengal ASIN83 (Rev. 1)

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Appeal Target: US$ 978,268

Balance Requested: US$ 232,269

Geneva, 3 November 2008

Dear Colleagues,

Early monsoon rains along with a heavy depression over the Bay of Bengal caused continuous and heavy rains from 16 to 20 June 2008 in the states of Assam, West Bengal and Orissa, leading to a significant rise in the water levels of all major rivers in the region. Rivers breached embankments and flooded large parts of the coastal districts of the three states. Raging flood waters washed away interstate highways, bridges and railway lines and disrupted road and rail communications in many places. More than 3.4 million people in Orissa and West Bengal were affected. ACT members Church's Auxiliary for Social Action (CASA) and Lutheran World Service India (LWSI) have been providing assistance to flood-affected communities since the onset of the emergency, supported by ACT Rapid Response Funding, issued June 25th, and ACT appeal ASIN83, issued on July 15th for US $969,345.

In the third week of September 2008 the State of Orissa experienced further heavy flooding in the Mahanadi basin. This most recent flooding has wreaked havoc in 17 of the state's 30 districts and seriously affected more than 2.5 million people. The coastal districts of Puri, Jagatsinghpur and Kendrapada were the worst hit. Water released from the Hirakud reservoir inundated many low-lying areas, forcing evacuation of thousands of people.  LWSI staff have conducted an assessment of the flood situation and analyzed the needs and the gaps in the response/activities by other agencies, including respective State Governments. The most urgent needs include: food, safe drinking water, medicine and drugs to control water borne diseases.

In this appeal revision LWSI extends proposed assistance to people affected by the latest floods in three new areas of Orissa. Assistance proposed comprises: ready to eat food, dry rations, temporary shelter materials (plastic sheeting), water and sanitation. Post crisis activities include some livelihood support in the form of rice seeds and restoration of sand-casted agricultural land (through food for work).

Please note that in order for LWSI to complete their original plans and fulfil implementation of life saving activities in the newly flooded areas, the implementation period for LWSI's response has been extended by five months, from 31 October 2008 to 31 March 2009. The close of CASA's implementation period remains unchanged at 31 October 2008, as per previous extension granted.