Christian Aid joins flood relief work in Assam

Published 20 July 2012  |  
Christian Aid is currently responding to the floods in the worst affected district in Assam – the Dhemaji district.

"We are planning to reach approximately 8,000 households (48,000 people) across 70 affected villages," the aid agency said on Thursday.

Christian Aid is carrying out detailed assessments in the flood affected areas. Based on these report findings, Christian Aid will determine longer-term plans focusing on the immediate needs of the affected communities and supporting work through partner agencies on areas of water, sanitation and hygiene.

The northeastern state of Assam is currently experiencing the worst floods in the area for over 3 decades.

Approximately 2.4 million people have been affected, 2000 villages flooded and over half a million people have been forced to abandon their homes.

People displaced from their homes are now living in the government-supported Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps.

The flood survivors are struggling to get access to food, water and shelter, Christian Aid reported.

"People have to walk or travel in boats to access safe drinking water as over 90% of hand pumps have been submerged in the flood waters."

Other challenges that flood-affected communities are facing include contamination of drinking water and an increased risk of water-borne diseases such as diarrhoea and skin diseases.

The flood has so far claimed lives of close 110 people. As heavy rains continue, officials fear a second spell of floods soon.

"As the floods in Assam enter its fourth week, the incessant rain, damaged roads and landslides have made it difficult to bring relief supplies to the affected people," World Vision India reported.

"World Vision staff are working tirelessly with the local government and partners to improve access to safe drinking water and better hygiene as well as assessing the flood-affected areas to set up relief camps," the Chennai-based NGO said.

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