Dear Friends and Supporters,
First I would like to report that the monsoon in all parts of Bihar was normal this year, after two consecutive years of drought in South Bihar.
In North Bihar of course the floods are an annual occurrence, but things are improving. This is not to diminish the suffering of hundreds of displaced families and unfortunately there were deaths this year. Over 100 people lost their lives due to flooding.
As you know from our last report I visited the flood areas to supervise the donation of items of immediate need. Throughout the flood season due to your generosity this work continued bringing much needed relief to many families.
The new Bihar Administration under Nitish Kumar has improved disaster response units, the management of water has improved, and embankments have been strengthened.
However our work is much more micro in nature directly reaching those in need at a local level, something that many times the government struggles to do effectively. In the past (there are still current cases pending in the courts) huge sums of relief money were stolen by corrupt individuals and government officers, hopefully this now a thing of the past.
There is often much the villagers can do for themselves though by strengthening their own village flood defences at a local level, building raised safe shelters and planning together as a community how they can prepare for the monsoon as a community. This we can, and do assist with, along with the relief materials and the donation of replacement animals,plus loans for small new income raising enterprises has made a difference, and improved, and probably saved many lives.
Here is a news report from September 29th 2011
Patna, Sep 29 (PTI) With major rivers maintaining their rising trend, the flood situation worsened today in Bihar where 89 rpt 89 people have lost their lives due to it since the beginning of monsoon this year. Disaster management department sources said the situation had worsened in Madhubani, Sitamarhi and Darbhanga districts following heavy rains in the catchment areas in Bihar and Nepal of the Adhwara group of rivers flowing through them.
Official sources said 100 villages were submerged as the river embankment eroded at Awapur in Sitamarhi district forcing thousands of people have taken shelter in high areas. Flood waters of Bagmati river damaged 681 houses at Bairginiyans and also submerged NH 77 in the district, the sources said. In Darbhanga district Kamala Balan river breached its Maharji embankment in a stretch of 300 feet, while Bagmati has inunadated more than 200 villages, they said. Central Water Commission sources said the flood waters of Ganga was receding though its water level has crossed the danger mark at some points. The river is flowing 38 cm above the danger mark at Gandhi Ghat here and 27 cm above the danger mark at Kahalgaon in Bhagalpur. The water level of Sone river is 23 cm above the danger mark at Maner here, while Punpun river is flowing 257 cm above the red mark at Sripalpur, the sources said. .
You can see the effect of the floods this year in several films posted on you tube, just search Bihar floods 2011.
Again we thank you so much for your support for these very poor communities.
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With Best Wishes,
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