Caritas to renovate 560 houses in Tamil Nadu by January 2016

New Delhi, Dec.30: Before long term intervention can be discussed to rebuild flood hit Tamil Nadu, Caritas network’s flood response in the state so far can be seen in three parts, namely the zero phase, phase one and phase two.

During the zero phase, post November 21, Rs.2.5 million was disbursed to activate rapid assessment team along with immediate relief that mostly included running community kitchens that provided cooked meals to flood stranded families across the seven districts of Kanchipuram, Tiruvallur, Cuddalore, Thanjavur, Kumbakonam, Vellore and Salem.

During phase one (December 3-15), 2500 relief kits were distributed covering the districts of Kanchipuram, Tiruvallur, Cuddalore, and Salem.

During phase two (December 16-22), the number of districts were brought down to three worst affected districts of Kanchipuram, Tiruvallur and Cuddalore distributing 5000 relief kits.

The relief kits included dry ration and drinking water, nonfood items like clothes, utensils and sanitary items like soap, napkins were distributed as per Sphere standard.

The cost from phase zero to phase two is Rs.14 million. However, additional relief materials were mobilized by Caritas partners’ network worth nearly Rs.30 million, raising the total figure to Rs.44 million so far.

A total of nearly 200,000 people from 168 villages benefitted during this period with support from over 600 flood response volunteers headed by a 15 member Caritas India flood response team.

Most affected families irrespective of caste and religion were identified. Caritas officers placed in strategic distribution points regularly verified the details of 4% of the beneficiary lists.

Although we have been operating from various locations, presently we have our base camps set up in three strategic locations, namely Pondicherry, Chengalpattu and Chennai.

While major relief and response was concentrated in three most affected districts of Kanchipuram, Cuddalore and Tiruvallur, support was also extended to needy families in relatively low affected districts of Thanjavur, Kumbakonam, Vellore and Salem.

Ahead in phase three, which will also be the final phase of flood response, the plan include renovation of 560 flood damaged houses through (conditional) cash transfer scheme. Each identified family will receive Rs.14,550 under this scheme to be completed by January 2016. The total cost by end this phase is estimated to cross Rs.50 million. Although generous donations to this cause is awaited, Caritas network has so far raised Rs.8.5 million, which is only 16 percent of the expenses.

The long term intervention will depend on the fund generated hereafter.