India: Flooding leaves thousands of villagers in devastation

News and Press Release
Originally published
Fifteen days of record monsoon rains in India have claimed over one thousand lives and have left even more without homes, food or hope. The villagers of Rayala Lanka, a poor village located on an island in the Krishna River, took refuge in the second story of a joint church and school building which India Partners helped to build. After water levels doubled, they were evacuated in boats hired by Orphans Faith Home. Three lives of Rayala Lanka villagers were lost in the flooding, and though the remaining villagers are safe from the waters, they are left without homes or food.

Pastor G. Parishudha Babu, Director of OFH, reports that "the people were shocked, and the children were suffering from lack of clothes [and] blankets, and they are in so much fear. Everywhere in the island is filled with snakes." Five have died thus far from snakebites alone, as the flood has forced people out of their safer village environments.

Adjacent villages on the Krishna River are also flooded, leaving their inhabitants homeless. Village elders report that 35 water buffalo and several goats have drowned. This is a significant loss as the livestock are an important sustainable food source for the villagers. In addition, over 700 acres of bananas, rice and other grains were destroyed.

Pastor Babu tells the story of two farmers who had taken out great loans in order to cultivate their fields and grow grains; however, their fields have been destroyed in the flooding and they are unable to repay their debts. Both farmers died of heart attacks after their great loss. Many other small farmers have lost their crops and are left without food, income or homes. Their land is filled with water and they are crying for help.

Pastor Babu has been ministering in the village of Rayala Lanka for the past few years, and India Partners has sent short-term teams there as well. This direct connection to Rayala Lanka has provided for rapid needs assessment and then the capability for an immediate response. The Orphans Faith Home has begun food, water and medical campaigns in five villages, as well as a relief camp in Rayala Lanka. They have supplied kerosene lamps, 10 liters of kerosene, and 25 liters of drinking water to each family at the Relief Camp. The Orphans Faith Home has also sent 600 bags of rice to three different villages. There still remains much more to be done before the needs of the victims are met.

India Partners has committed to raise $5,000 in funding for the Rayala Lanka Relief Camp and flood relief campaigns. We ask you to join with India Partners in providing for the immediate needs of these families as well as for the reconstruction of the villages.

To help India Partners provide an emergency response in India, here's how to donate:
By phone: 1-888-870-9085
By mail: India Partners, Rayala Lanka Flood Relief, PO Box 5470, Eugene, OR 9740

Headquarters Contact:
Brent Hample, Eugene, Oregon: 541-683-0696