India

India: Floods ravage Andhra Pradesh

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200,000 homeless after Southern Indian state hit by heavy flooding

ActionAid teams in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh have been working to reach villages worst affected by heavy rains, which have made over 200,000 people homeless.

ActionAid teams managed to reach the most devastated districts of Kurnool and Prakasam on Monday (24 June) where thousands of homes have collapsed and roads and bridges have been washed away.

Working alongside the local authorities, Action and local partner Novok, have distributed 1750 food and water packages to flood affected families.

Gajulapalli village in Kurnool district, home to around 200 Dalit and 227 Muslim families is badly affected and has received no government support.

Flash floods hit the low-lying area so suddenly that people were unable to rescue money, grain and household goods.

Around half of the homes - made mostly from thatch, stones and mud - have been destroyed.

Rahamad Dee, a 30 year old Muslim woman was distraught: "I need to earn money. I need to cook. I need to take care of the family. How can I do this when the house is gone?" she said.

In normal times these families rely on daily wages of around Rs.25 from agricultural work. With no work, money or grain they require daily food rations to survive.

Elsewhere in Kurnool district, around 2000 school children saw their school books washed away.

One of those is five year old Malika, who lost her home and, like a growing number of flood survivors, is now suffering from fever.

Promises by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, Dr. Yeduguri Sandinti Rajasekhara Reddy, to provide Rs.3,000 (around US$73) to help repair each damaged home were greeted by protests yesterday.

Communities say it will cost them Rs12-15,000 (US$300-$370) to rebuild their houses, particularly as they should be more, not less secure than ones they have lost.

Meteorologists are predicting further heavy rains, with a storm in the Bay of Bengal due to hit Andhra Pradesh on Wednesday (June 27).