CARITAS HUMANITARIAN RESPONSE TO KERALA FLOODS 2018
Fr. Paul Moonjely
Executive Director – Caritas India
It's being called the flood of the century. Torrential rains & strong winds over three weeks have devastated God's own country, Kerala. It has already received 30% more rain than its annual average; rains in the state often last till November.
34 dams are spewing water, 44 rivers are in spate. 12 of the state's 14 districts are submerged. 36 locations are battling landslides. Such devastation was last seen in 1924, long before Indian Independence.
Till date, 389 people have died, 38 are missing & 133 have been hospitalized. 21,000 houses have been damaged, 46,016 cattle, 200,000 poultry & 40,000 hectares of crops have been lost. Total loss to agriculture has been estimated at Rs. 1,500 crore.
98, 000 kilometres of roads & 134 bridges have been damaged. Transport via road, rail & air is seriously affected. Out of 1,553 villages in Kerala, 1,287 have been affected. 14,21,000 people have been displaced and are currently living in 8,877 relief camps. In many districts, access to clean drinking water has completely broken down. All this has added up to a total economic loss of
Rs. 20, 000 crore to the state. (*All figures estimated, on date of release)
Farmers, daily wage workers & agricultural labourers won't earn anything for the next 2-3 months. Thousands have no homes to go back to. Lakhs need food, clothes, beds, mosquito nets, medicines, drinking water supplies and temporary shelters. Sanitation & hygiene has been severely compromised, the risk of epidemics is at an all-time high.
After all these needs are met, there is a need for longer term rehabilitation, reconstruction and livelihood support for affected families.
Scheduled caste and tribal dominated areas in Wayanad & Idukki are completely cut off. Caste biases often lead these groups to be ignored even during relief efforts, something not always reflected in media reports. Women, children & the aged too are extremely vulnerable in such situations.
Impact of the Situation
Caritas India plans on reaching 20,000 families with its response and relief interventions.
The Response Plan is as follows:
Food Support: Immediate food support to 20,000 most deserving tribal households in Wayanad, Pathanamthitha, Thrissur & Ernak
“Cash for Work” scheme to clean Debris: Immediate “Cash for Work” scheme to support 10,000 households from tribal & low earning communities.
WASH (water, hygiene, sanitation) support: WaSH kits will be supplied to 10,000 tribal women & girls. Awareness about the importance of clean water, hygiene & sanitation will also be provided.
Shelter support in the long term: A special design will be done based on the locally available materials. The estimated cost per shelter is Rs. 100,000 / house.
Caritas India makes every effort to verify the information contained in its Situation Reports. As the ground situation changes rapidly in emergency situations, users should check with concerned agencies before making any decisions based on the information provided in this report.