Assam flood WaSH activity begins

With the number of individuals affected by the deluge falling below the mark of 10,000, the Assam flood situation has shown signs of considerable improvement in the last few weeks. Life is slowly returning to normal in the majority of flood districts apart from Udalguri, Tamulpur and Jorhat where families are still struggling to make their ends meet. Caritas India is on the ground working in close coordination with respective governments and humanitarian partners to scale up its responses and support the immediate needs of affected families and ameliorate their living conditions post floods.

Sustained humanitarian efforts to respond to the Assam deluge continue in 87 villages of 6 most affected districts i.e., Nagaon, Barpeta, Lakhimpur, Cachar, Hojai and West Karbi Anglong. So far, Caritas India has reached out to a population of 34,000 individuals effectively across the sectors of WASH, Nutrition and Shelter assistance. 4,801 households have improved hygiene behaviour post floods and 1,826 are now dwelling in a safe shelter. 213HHs have received conditional fund assistance to support their priority needs such as nutrition, health and livelihood, with 1,380 HHs to be covered in the coming weeks.

Rusna Begum, 52, and her family live in Kushairpur Panchayat of Katigorah development block in Cachar district, Assam. They were primarily dependent on their two bighas of land for survival but the floods have destroyed their means of livelihood. Her semi-pucca house was damaged in the flood they repaired it but it’s not safe.

“We are marginal farmers; our paddy lands are filled with flood water. So far, we could not plough the land. The transplantation period is approaching very fast. If we fail to transplant, there will be nothing to harvest in paddy fields. I do not know how we are going to survive this year. We have to approach money lenders which I don’t like. But I have no choice.” says Rusna in a dejected voice.

Like Rusna, hundreds of families of Katigorah block are living in extreme conditions. Caritas India has been working very closely with flood-affected families through fund support, hygiene kit distribution, restoration of safe drinking water sources, restoration of sanitation facilities and important improvement the good health and hygiene practices.

A step ahead in reaching out to affected families, in Lakhimpur and Nagaon are two new additions to the list where 1871 HHs and 1000 HHs respectively through WASH kits. Apart from these, 45 cleanings and repair of handpumps/ wells will be commencing soon in 4 districts of Assam.

Hiding in the shadows of the Assam Floods which received much empathy from across the globe, two other northeastern states – Meghalaya and Tripura were also affected by the overflowing Brahmaputra. With the background of Caritas India’s profound presence in the states through its Farm North East programme, it is responding to 1000 flood-affected families in 9 flood-affected villages of Meghalaya and 5 in Tripura through shelter and hygiene kit supports.