The Nivar cyclone has caused torrential flooding, driving 175,000 people from their homes. In the immediate aftermath, we worked with our partners in the area to distribute emergency food relief and roof tarpaulins. Now we are providing goats to widows struggling to recover after losing almost everything.
Tamil Nadu is one of the world's regions hardest hit by climate change: Each year, there are more cyclones and heavier rains, while more severe droughts during the dry season make the soil less permeable, leading to increased flooding. Cyclone Nivar pounded areas still recovering from previous storms, and the devastation forced many businesses to close. For the survivors already living on the margin, replacing what was lost presents an almost insurmountable challenge.
We have found that gifting goats to the survivors of natural disasters is one of the most effective ways to support the area's economic recovery in the area. Goats offer a great return on investment: they multiply rapidly, and the sale of just one goat can provide enough income for a year's worth of groceries and health care. We have been focusing on helping widows, and ask each village to choose who to give the goats to.
Currently, the villagers themselves give what little they can to help widows who have been left with almost nothing survive. When they select the widows most in need of help, they are selecting the women who are draining community resources. Gifting these women with goats will allow them to live comfortably for the rest of their days, able to provide assistance to others in need, rather than requiring it themselves, and making the whole village more prosperous.