Cyclone Fani’, one of the strongest storms to batter the Indian subcontinent in decades, made landfall near Puri, India, 10 days ago. The million plus families who were safely evacuated during the disaster are now back to see their homes destroyed. Over 5 lakh houses have been damaged and 1.5 crore people affected across Odisha; and over 33,000 houses damaged and 6.3 lakh people affected in West Bengal.
Taking this into consideration, SEEDS (Sustainable Environment and Ecological Development Society) is looking at setting up safe and sustainable transitional homes for people who have lost their homes. At the backend, a team of architects, engineers and social workers have been busy developing a design for the transitional shelter. This keeps the consciousness of the local soil conditions, materials, skills, environment, and culture in mind; and reduces risk in future disasters! The first demonstration house will begin within a week in Puri.
Additionally, a large number of trees have fallen across the affected areas. Timber from fallen trees and rubble from damaged houses can be creatively used for reconstruction. This is a unique approach SEEDS is taking to ensure speedy reconstruction with minimum environmental impact. In the medium term, SEEDS is also looking at plantation drives of local species to restore the green cover.
SEEDS aims to reach out to 20,000 affected families in the affected areas with immediate response operations already underway. Beyond planning for transitional homes in the two states, SEEDS has also been:
• Setting up and operating Community Kitchens - As part of immediate needs, SEEDS and local partner SPANDAN supported a community kitchen that was managed by cyclone survivors in the Baliapanda slum of Puri to address immediate needs. 500 people from 123 families were able to have access to a good meal when most needed.
• Improving access to safe water and hygiene awareness - In Biramput and Raghusardarbar Jalpai villages of East Medinipur, West Bengal training on hygiene, water chlorination and sanitation; and distribution of key materials to ensure safe drinking water at a family level is underway. Along with local partner KJKS, common drinking water sources and areas at risk of spreading disease have also been identified and are undergoing the chlorination process. 190 families (910 people) have already been reached.
Support our efforts to reach those most in need!
Donations for this cause can be made at: https://www.seedsindia.org/cyclonefani/ In addition, we also urge individuals and organisations with technical skills in the water, sanitation, health and shelter construction domains to volunteer with us and lend a helping hand to our countrymen in need. https://www.seedsindia.org/volunteer/
SEEDS (Sustainable Environment and Ecological Development Society) is a not-for-profit organisation that enables community resilience through practical solutions in the areas of disaster readiness, response and rehabilitation.
Since 1994, the organization has worked extensively on every major disaster in the Indian subcontinent – grafting innovative technology on to traditional wisdom. It has reached out to families affected by disasters and climate stresses; strengthened and rebuilt schools and homes; and has invariably put its faith in skill building, planning and communications to foster long-term resilience. SEEDS is also India’s first agency to be certified for the global Core Humanitarian Standards – an international certification system for quality and accountability in humanitarian response.
SEEDS completed 25 years of outstanding service to humanity in 2019 and is re-anchoring its approach to building resilience through innovation. It continues to empower the most vulnerable across Asia to build a better future.
For more information, visit www.seedsindia.org