The current floods across South Asia are being considered as the worst floods in living memory (UN). Nearly 20 million people are thought to be affected in India alone, although access is still extremely difficult in many areas and actual numbers are hard to quantify.
The Government of Bangladesh estimates eight million affected there, and there are several hundred thousand more affected in Nepal. In waters as deep as ten feet in some places, families are struggling to survive in marooned villages with little access to any of the basic necessities such as clean water, food and shelter.
Ashvin Dayal, Head of Oxfam in South Asia, explains: "Across the region people are struggling to cope with what is for many the worst flooding in living memory. Millions of the very poorest have lost their homes, their possessions and their livelihoods. Thanks to good preparation we have responded quickly and saved lives, but people desperately need our help to get back on their feet again. These floods show how important it is for governments and the international community to be prepared for when disasters strike."
Oxfam works in all the affected countries and is already getting help to some of the most vulnerable communities. With your support we can do even more! Oxfam affiliates are running donation appeals for our work delivering food, emergency shelter, hygiene items and clean water and safe sanitation.
What is Oxfam doing?
Access is nearly impossible - Oxfam's mobile teams are getting round by boat in Assam and Bihar, delivering water purifiers and oral rehydration salts, helping to improve sanitation facilities in temporary camps, and distributing shelter materials. We are planning to reach 90,000 people in these two states.
We have already helped 150,000 people in West Bengal and Orissa in the floods which began in June.
We are mobilizing support for 12,000 families living in five of the worst-affected districts, with shelter materials, food, water, sanitation, animal fodder, and hygiene promotion.
Oxfam is providing shelter for 2,200 families in two districts where we already work. As people return to flood-affected villages we will be helping organize clean-up campaigns and promoting safe hygiene practices.
Oxfam and local partners are providing 35,000 people affected by earlier floods in the south of Pakistan with drinking water, emergency shelter and items to improve hygiene and reduce public health risks.