ActionAid International USA

ActionAid works alongside poor and vulnerable people to end poverty and the injustices that cause it.
Nov 1, 2010

Bihar Floods- Two Years Later

livelihood initiative Project for floods victims
livelihood initiative Project for floods victims

Overview

You've helped people affected by floods in Bihar have a better life. Thank You!

Two years after Bihar was struck by one of the worst floods in its history, communities and families are living their lives again.

Following this emergency , a long-term engagements were undertaken to restore livelihoods, create new jobs and build community resources. ActionAid started livelihood support work in Triveniganj, Raghopur block of Supaul District as well as other areas months after the floods.

ActionAid had reached out to the most vulnerable families through the village councils in the area. A Participatory Vulnerability Analysis (PVA) survey was conducted to identify the most vulnerable people, with a special focus on women.

Stories from flood affected communities:

  • Proud and Independent

Forty-year-old Neelam Devi has found a new role in life after the floods swept away her life two years ago. She now runs a daycare for children of the villagers who have found employment at Cash for Work project as a part of an intervention in Satanpatti village in Raghopur Block.

I look after 50 children at this daycare. They are given food and medical support,” says Neelam Devi. My life has become better and I can now afford to feed my family vegetables and pluses, as opposed to just onions,” she adds with pride.

  •  Living Again

I am very happy that I got this stitching machine. My life is made,” says Saliman Khatun, 50, a widow, as she stitches a new skirt for her granddaughter in her small but beautifully kept shop. She received the machine as part of ActionAid's livelihood initiative for flood-affected families. She lost her house and livestock and lived in a shelter in a nearby government-run camp.

“With what I earn now, I am able to pay the school fee of my two children.”  She now receives several orders from neighboring villages and earns about Rs. 75 a day.

 “The support has allowed me to get my life back on track,” she adds.

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To ActionAid Bihar project supporters,

As winter approaches, the UN estimates that there are currently 1.2 million people in 6,300 camps and settlements across Pakistan. The largest number of displaced people is currently in Sindh, where the worst of the flooding has taken place. The need for shelter, health, nutrition still persists.

Health and hygiene remain the most critical concern in camps and gastroenteritis cases continue to be high and 453 schools have been vacated since 17 September, bringing the total number of schools used as shelters down to 3,180 (housing 957,441 people).

ActionAid is allocating its resources to provide relief assistance to people in Pakistan and we need your help. Please continue to support our Pakistan relief project on Globalgiving as we are retiring our Bhair project.

Please visit www.actionaidusa.org for more information.

Thank you for your life-saving work.

Child Day Care Center
Child Day Care Center
Sep 7, 2010

ActionAid’s Pakistan Flood Emergency Response

Photo: ActionAid. Saeed Bibi and her son
Photo: ActionAid. Saeed Bibi and her son

Although flood waters have started to recede in some parts of Pakistan, new areas continue to be flooded, particularly in the south of the country. ActionAid Pakistan has so far reached out to over 58,000 people across 10 districts. New activities in Balochistan, including psychosocial care activities, are due to start within the next week.

Medical camps have been set up in some of the hardest hit regions, allowing us to provide life-saving medicines and support from local doctors. In the districts of Azad Jammu Kashmir and Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa – which includes the hard hit areas of Swat and Swabi – we are also supplying sheets, mattresses and mosquito nets to displaced survivors who have been left most vulnerable by the floods.

ActionAid was the first to reach those hit by the disaster in Kot Addu with rescue and relief support. So far, ten relief camps have been set up in government buildings and 10,620 people have been provided with food, medical care and washing facilities. We are looking after the specific needs of women and girls. Staff in one camp are assisting 30 expectant mothers – and we're providing female doctors whenever possible.

We plan to reach as many as 120,000 people across Pakistan in the next two months, but desperation is growing with every passing hour. As one victim told a reporter, "Water is still on the rise, and we are in a helpless situation."

Zia Nawab, an ActionAid partner working in Swat, told us, "People are desperately waiting for rescue and relief. The government's response cannot reach everyone. Helicopters are flinging out food packages in hard-to-reach areas but it is not enough. Access to most affected areas is difficult as roads and bridges have been damaged. With more heavy rain, rivers could burst their banks – the situation is now at a tipping point."

Please see the attached document (PDF) for a complete report of ActionAid's Pakistan flood relief response.

Photo: ActionAid. Relief distribution point.
Photo: ActionAid. Relief distribution point.

Links:

Jul 27, 2010

Bihar Floods 2008

Karnataka
Karnataka

Thousands of people were missing in Bihar in eastern India after Kosi River breached its banks in neighbouring Nepal and flooded hundreds of villages in the State of Bihar on 18th August 2008. Over three million people have been displaced from their homes. Independent estimates by Citizen’s Initiative for Bihar Floods, a civil society initiative active in the area, claim that 2000 people have died. Government put the death toll as 117. However, these figures don’t take those who have gone missing into consideration.

Monsoon floods are an annual event in eastern India, and are part of life for many people in the region. But on this occasion, the Kosi River, which arises in Nepal, broke through an embankment and changed course. Flood waters entered Bihar and in the next two weeks, approx. 16 villages were hit by this floods. People were unprepared for flooding.

ActionAid response: Shelter and food aid: ActionAid has reached with over 15,000 tarpaulin sheets, 1000 packets of food and 2000 ORS packets which have been distributed in the few days after the floods. The needs were very basic but critical. For instance, even cooking rice can be an ordeal in these conditions. So we were relied on locally used flattened rice and jaggery as it can be consumed quickly and is safe in these conditions.

We also reached out to survivors in Pratapur, Basantpur and Triveniganj Blocks of Supaul District. Our immediate focus were on providing food and medical aid to women and young mothers and setting up shelters for the stranded. ActionAid partners and volunteers already managed six camps/shelters in Sapaul District that has been worsthit by floods. While three of the camps are in the Triveniganj Block, the other three are in Raghavpur Block. All the six camps/shelters have accommodated 4900 flood survivors. The three camps being run in Triveniganj are i) Lalpatti,Satsang Bhavan, ii) Baghla Bridge, and iii) Narhara. These camps are located in Triveniganj Block.

ActionAid installed tubewells near the camps. Emergency teams has provided survivors with halogen tablets and jerry cans to store water. Health camps has been organized and medicines has been provided.

ActionAid released 3 million INR as initial relief response. But our focus is long term: •Minimising trauma by supporting the emotional recovery of survivors. •Reducing vulnerability of poor communities by working together to identify the risks they face and build their resilience to future disasters. •Reducing risk of future disasters occurring by reducing hazards and supporting communities to adapt to the effects of climate change

As Babu Mathew said, Country Director ActionAid India “A long-term comprehensive response is necessary to deal with relief, recovery and disaster preparedness.”

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