India

Situation report: India flooding

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Torrential rains across India have flooded cities and villages in southern Gujarat. Many dams, rivers and creeks are overflowing, and the continuous rains have necessitated the evacuation of nearly 500,000 people to safer places (makeshift camps, schools and religious places) and caused large scale damage to infrastructure as well as personal and public property. Roads, rails and telecommunications have been disrupted severely, hampering relief intervention. The flood situation in districts of Madhya Pradesh (Sagar, Chattarpur, Damoth, Sahra) is also cause for concern.

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance is responding to this disaster in cooperation with our long-time partner, Church Auxiliary for Social Action (CASA), and as a member of the Action by Churches Together International (ACT) alliance.

CASA is currently utilizing its emergency stocks to provide immediate relief to the most vulnerable in the worst affected areas in Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. The primary emphasis of the relief program will be to provide cooked food and potable water to the affected population as well as relief sets, dry rations and plastic sheets for temporary shelter.

CASA has mobilized four relief teams which will be operating in approximately 60 villages in Gujarat and towns in the districts of Surat, Valsad, Navsari, Bharuch, Vadodara, Anand and Kheda. Each team will have adequate manpower and logistical support, enough to undertake survey and relief distribution simultaneously. Warehousing facilities have been arranged in each district. CASA senior staff from the West Zone will be coordinating operations from the Mumbai and Gujarat offices and will ensure coordination with Government, other NGO's, major church agencies, and other grassroots partner organizations.

CASA has had assessment staff in the field since June 30 and, along with its partners, has begun the process of identifying those whose needs are the greatest. This is done in cooperation with the local government agencies and village leaders. The needs will be measured in terms of the relative loss suffered (both in terms of people and property), socio-economic background of the selected beneficiary, and also the vulnerability factor of women and children, the elderly and infirm.

Assistance being provided includes:

- Provision of cooked food twice a day for 7 days to 10,000 people.

- Provision of drinking water twice a day for 7 days to 10,000 people.

- Provision of dry rations to 10,000 families.

- Provision of plastic sheets to 10,000 families.

- Provision of clothing, utensils, blankets, candles and matches to 10,000 families.

CASA is also responding in Madhya Pradesh, where it has started feeding centers at Katni and Sahra for 400 people and is further mobilizing assistance to cover 700 families in the program. CASA is also planning to assist 5,000 families with dry ration kits, relief kits and tarpaulins for temporary shelter.

Assistance is also being provided by ACT member Lutheran World Service India (LWSI). LWSI has been in continuous communication with one of their partner organizations based in Ahmedabad -- DISHA. DISHA works through a large network of community-based organizations and local NGOs and has a presence in most of the flood affected districts. DISHA has already reached out to the worst affected areas and has begun providing cooked food to the flood affected people who have taken shelter in the relief camps. In addition, dry food rations, infant food, mosquito nets, blankets, tarpaulins and water and sanitation materials are being provided.