Turning the Tide: Community Recovery in Bihar

by ActionAid USA
Turning the Tide:  Community Recovery in Bihar
Turning the Tide:  Community Recovery in Bihar
Turning the Tide:  Community Recovery in Bihar
Turning the Tide:  Community Recovery in Bihar
Turning the Tide:  Community Recovery in Bihar
Turning the Tide:  Community Recovery in Bihar
Turning the Tide:  Community Recovery in Bihar
Turning the Tide:  Community Recovery in Bihar
Turning the Tide:  Community Recovery in Bihar
Turning the Tide:  Community Recovery in Bihar
Turning the Tide:  Community Recovery in Bihar
Turning the Tide:  Community Recovery in Bihar
Turning the Tide:  Community Recovery in Bihar
Turning the Tide:  Community Recovery in Bihar
Sarita Devi
Sarita Devi


Many thanks for being a great ActionAid supporter to help floods victims in Bihar. ActionAid’s long-term engagements were undertaken to restore livelihoods, create new jobs and build community resources in Bihar after one of the worst floods in its history. We focused our efforts on women and children. The villages that were worst affected had a large number of single women households, with men working in cities for the lack of livelihood.


  • ·         Single and Strong, another story from one of floods survivors:


“This foot-enabled machine allows me to stitch clothes faster than I used to, when I had a hand machine,” says Sarita Devi.


“I can now take many more orders and deliver them on time, which is helping me earn more money,” she adds.


Sarita, 40, mother of four children is a very happy and brimming with confidence of being able to become a bread-winner for the family, after her husband passed way.  She received the foot sewing machine as a part of the livelihood initiative taken up my ActionAid Partner.



  • ·          Bihar was struck again in 2010


The cyclonic storm has swept the part of Bihar, West Bengal and Assam during mid-night of 14th April 2010 and left a trail of destruction along the path with at least 111 deaths and hundreds injured in eastern parts of Bihar and northern part of Bengal and Assam. "From the extent of twisted trees and poles, the depth of thundercloud and volume of devastation, it appears to be a tornado," said G C Debnath, Director, Regional Meteorological Centre, Alipore, "The casualties were high because the storm struck when people had retired for the night and were caught unaware.


ActionAid was in Supaul district where it was implementing rehabilitation program for Koshi floods survivors along with its two local partners. Some ActionAid’s operational areas were affected by the storm.


ActionAid was working closely with its partners to provide relief items, including drinking water, food and temporary shelters for storm victims.



  • ·         An update from Bihar area: Land March


ActionAid stood alongside with hundreds of landless and marginalized women and men marched on foot in Bihar to demand action on unfilled agenda of land reforms on December 25, 2010.


The poverty in Bihar, like elsewhere in India, is rooted in lack of control over land and the consequent feudal structure. This is reflected in Bihar having one of the lowest per capita incomes in India. Those who suffer denial of basic rights and atrocities are dalits, tribal and women, from the marginalized communities.


"The march passed through areas that have seen land struggles and dominated by upper castes land lords. The peaceful march came in as a new approach for the struggle for land to the landless," said ActionAid Bihar regional manager Vinay Ohdar.


Please visit our website at www.actionaidusa.org to find out more information about “Land March” in Bihar.

As ActionAid is retiring this project on GlobalGiving, please kindly support our other projects on GlobalGiving or visit our website learn what we do around the world.

Bihar Land March 2010
Bihar Land March 2010


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


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.


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
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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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Organization Information

ActionAid USA

Location: Washington, DC - USA
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @actionaidusa
Project Leader:
Amy Leichtman
Program Manager
Washington, DC United States

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Thanks to 20 donors like you, a total of $825 was raised for this project on GlobalGiving. Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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