Floods subside but work continues: Oxfam makes long-term commitment to communities in India's North West

Following on from its emergency response, International aid agency Oxfam is now set to tackle the medium and long term effects of the floods that have devastated North West India.

The floods, which hit in late June and early July, have left widespread devastation. In Maharashtra state, millions have been affected, with tens of thousands of people losing their homes. In Gujarat, flooding has forced five million people from their homes and affected up to 20 million people across the state.

Since June, Oxfam has been working to provide emergency relief to more than 10,000 families across the region, providing temporary shelter, food, household items and basic primary health care.

The agency is now starting its long term rehabilitation work to provide shelter and restore livelihoods for highly vulnerable communities as well as those hardest hit by the disaster. Programs will be implemented through Oxfam's long standing non-government and community partner organisations in both states, all of whom have substantial experience in disaster response and rehabilitation work.

"We are now turning our attention to rebuilding lives and livelihoods as well as rebuilding essential infrastructure to ensure we deliver lasting solutions that honour our ongoing commitment to the communities we work with," said Oxfam Australia's Executive Director, Andrew Hewett.

Over the coming months, Oxfam Australia through its partner network will help more than1000 flood-affected families to restore their livelihoods. The agency will prioritise the needs of the most vulnerable and marginalised, including tribal families.

Oxfam Australia will assist communities to rehabilitate and cultivate agricultural land damaged by the floods through food and cash for work activities. Families will be provided with agricultural tools, seeds and fishing nets and the opportunity to access livelihood-related loans.

Oxfam Australia's shelter and reconstruction work will include support for repairs to existing homes, the construction of new houses and the acquisition of land plots for tribal families made homeless and landless by the floods. Oxfam and its partners will also clear rubble, rock and silt, rebuild dams so water can be stored for livestock and agricultural use and repair flood-damaged paddy fields.