India

UNICEF Orissa Cyclone Situation Report

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Shelter
UNICEF has helped provide tents and plastic sheeting to serve as temporary shelter until the people of Orissa are able to rebuild.

Life in temporary shelters has been difficult, due to extreme winter temperatures and insufficient resources. To help families cope with these difficulties, UNICEF has distributed over 500,000 blankets and delivered 80,000 family survival kits (kits include cooking utensils, blankets, clothing, matches, candles, and kerosene burners). These kits are also intended to provide extra support and resources for families that have taken in unaccompanied or orphaned children.

Health and Nutrition

Over 2,000 medical centers in Orissa sustained major damage. UNICEF has constructed temporary medical clinics to treat and prevent water-borne diseases such as hepatitis, cholera, and diarrhea. UNICEF continues to supply essential drugs and medicines including antibiotics, intravenous drips, 500,000 sachets of oral rehydration salts (to prevent and treat deadly cases of diarrhea), and over 500,000 anti-malarial tablets.

On December 3, UNICEF resumed child immunizations with an on-going measles vaccination campaign. The campaign has targeted 600,000 children between the ages of six months and five years in three cyclone-affected districts. UNICEF has also provided funding for disposable syringes and auto-destruct syringes (which are essential to prevent the transmission of hepatitis and HIV), cold chain equipment (temperature sensitive storage equipment for vaccines), and additional training for local health workers participating in the vaccination campaign.

UNICEF also supported the National Immunization Day (NID) for polio. During a three-day period in December, the state-wide campaign reached over 4.5 million children under the age of five.

UNICEF has been providing supplementary food and vitamins at temporary feeding centers. Before the October cyclones, 55 percent of Orissa's children under five years of age were already malnourished.

UNICEF has also provided support to local community centers for new mothers and their infants. The assistance includes providing 2,200 tarpaulins for temporary use until permanent structures are built, and more than 2,000 weighing scales and growth chart registers to record the growth of infants and toddlers. Over 100 toilets have also been restored at the centers.

Water and Sanitation

Intial assessments determined that 50 percent of Orissa's water supply was severely damaged by the cyclones and floodwaters. By providing bleaching powder and supporting engineering teams, UNICEF has facilitated the repair and rehabilitation of more than 68,000 tubewells. Tubewells are used to extract large sources of uncontaminated water from deep beneath Earth's surface.

A total of 1,200 new tubewells were needed to replace those that were damaged beyond repair. In addition, UNICEF has supported the reconstruction of 121 village water pipe networks, which deliver clean water to communities in Orissa.

Other recent supplies delivered by UNICEF include and 10 tons of calcium hypochloride (which is used to decontaminate water wells), 20,000 new water-testing kits, 400 water storage tanks, and 20 electrical generators.

Water and sanitation assistance has also been given to health centers and schools. Water storage tanks have been installed in over 660 temporary feeding and health centers (where severely malnourished children receive supplementary food and vitamins).

In Orissa's districts of Ganjam, Balasore, and Kendrapara, UNICEF is supporting the restoration of toilet and sanitation facilities in 400 schools. UNICEF is also supporting hygiene education programs for about 3,900 teachers.

UNICEF is supporting communications campaigns that promote proper sanitation and the use of clean water. Hygiene posters and leaflets were distributed widely across the cyclone-affected districts to raise awareness of the dangers of unclean water and to properly dispose of waste.

Education

At least 11,000 schools were damaged or destroyed. An estimated 270,000 students between the ages of 6 and 14 are out of school.

UNICEF has assisted in the repair of school buildings and the replacement of teaching materials. Since January, textbooks have been distributed to five districts affected by the cyclone. Additionally, 20,000 school kits, containing notebooks, pencils, chalk, and other teaching materials, and 12,000 tarpaulins have been distributed.

Child Protection and Psycho-Social Trauma Rehabilitation

UNICEF is supporting the training of 800 local health workers to identify and treat children and adults suffering from social trauma. Special attention is being given to Orissa's Kendrapara and Jagatasinghpur districts, where up to 65 percent of the population is suffering from psycho-social disorders. UNICEF is also supporting the development of child therapy in schools, and providing support for teachers and care workers who work with traumatized children.

In cooperation with the Orissa State Government Department of Labor, UNICEF is supporting a program for children who are at risk of exploitative labor. The program will establish Prevention of Child Labor Centers that will cover seven districts affected by the cyclones. Each center will serve up to 50 children, including orphans, children who are out of school, and children from destitute families. The centers will offer daytime care and temporary homes for homeless children. Children will also have access to education, health care, recreation, and vocational training. Sixty centers have been proposed, reaching up to 3,000 at risk children. More than 30 Prevention of Child Labor Centers are already open in Orissa. Some centers have beennicknamed "Mamata Gruha," meaning "motherly love homes."

UNICEF is also supplying the centers with blankets and ensuring that water and sanitation facilities are functioning.