India

After the Orissa flood in India: Assuring relief, rehabilitation and survivors' rights

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Baltimore, September 10, 2003 -- Survivors of the recent severe floods in Orissa State in India are receiving relief, rehabilitation and help in taking their case to local authorities thanks in part to a grant from Lutheran World Relief. Flooding in that part of eastern India in late August affected 2.7 million people.
Two LWR partner organizations are providing food for flood survivors who work to repair dams, roads and dikes, household items for families, seeds to replant fields, health check-ups and water treatment in 60 villages, and assistance in assuring that government authorities respect survivor's rights during rehabilitation efforts. LWR has provided $20,000 from emergency funds for these activities by a social action unit of India's Lutheran churches and by CASA, a long-time LWR partner. They have requested more than $600,000 for the work, which will serve up to 6,000 families in each activity if funds permit.

Although nearly 4,000 villages were affected by the flooding and 750,000 acres of cropland submerged, the loss of life as of last week was 10 people. Government, community and military emergency responses were generally strong, according to field reports reaching LWR. These floods are the sixth major disaster caused by erratic weather in six years in Orissa - including two droughts and a 1999 super-cyclone.