Oxfam India stands with flood-affected families in Assam

Oxfam India stands with flood-affected families in Assam

Updated on 17 Sep, 2019

Incessant rainfall has led to devastating floods in Assam and other parts of northeast India. More than 70 lakh people are affected in Assam and over 90 people reported dead in Assam. The flood water is receding, but thousands of families are displaced and have lost their jobs. Affected people are struggling to rebuild their lives. 30 districts out of 33 were affected in the first round of floods; 4,663 villages face devastation in Dhubri, South Salmara, Morigaon, Barpeta, Dhemaji and Lakhimpur districts. 98 villages in 8 districts are affected in the second round of floods.

Submerged houses, trees, and electric poles are a common site. Hospitals, schools, and shops have been shut making access to medical supplies, first aid and basic commodities difficult. Water sources such as hands pumps and wells are inundated and unfit for use. Families are facing acute shortage of safe and clean water for drinking, bathing or cooking. Without access to safe sanitation facilities — with toilets in houses submerged — women and girls are facing a lot of problems. 

Almost 2 lakh hectares of agriculture land, livestock and fish ponds have been destroyed resulting in loss of livelihoods. A majority of the population in Assam is dependent on agriculture, livestock rearing, fishery and forest products for their livelihoods.
Boats are the only form of available transports as roads are either destroyed or submerged. Due to this the affected districts are facing difficulty in accessing government relief assistance. Kaziranga National Park is submerged with nearly 10 lakh animals facing flood fury.

Oxfam India and the Government of Assam have been working closely on needs assessment and distributing relief materials to the worst affected families. Oxfam India is working round the clock with local partners in Lakhimpur, Dhemaji, Barpeta, Moregaon, Dhubri and South Salmara to provide support to the affected people. We have provided emergency shelter and hygiene kits to 15,420 people, trained nearly 30,000 people on hygiene practices and installed 30 temporary toilets benefiting around 3,600 people. Additionally, 12 water filters are installed giving 2,664 men, women, and children access to safe drinking water. Around 207 hand pumps have been cleaned, 25 more installed, and 20 bathing cubicles have been constructed.

The Government of Assam had set up 1067 relief camps for 3,84,726 flood affected people. At present, there are 11 relief camps.

READ: REBUILDING CYCLONE AFFECTED LIVES IN ODISHA

As part of urgent relief, Oxfam India is distributing Emergency Hygiene and Shelter Kits to each household. Each Emergency Hygiene Kit contains a bucket, a mug, bathing soaps, washing soaps, ORS packets, NaDCC (chlorine) tablets, savlon, toothbrush, nail cutter, comb, sanitary napkins and ladies inner wear. Each Shelter Kit contains a tarpaulin, a ground sheet, mosquito net, bed sheets, water filter, solar lantern and fleece blankets.

“We are providing clean water, distributing emergency medicines, shelter and hygiene kits to affected communities. We will put our experience and expertise on water, hygiene and sanitation into action in Assam and Bihar. It is important to ensure that people have access to safe and clean water along with toilets especially women and girls as this can prevent outbreak of diseases. We will ensure inclusive relief and recovery efforts," said Pankaj Anand, Director - Programmes and Advocacy, Oxfam India.

Oxfam India provides urgent assistance to people affected by natural disasters. We ensure that affected families have access to basic needs – food, clean water and shelter. We primarily focus on the needs of women, girls, the elderly and persons with disabilities among affected communities. 

Oxfam India has a strong presence in Bihar and Assam. Floods have also devastated Bihar, affecting more than 80 lakh people and killed 130. We are coordinating with the Government of Bihar to assess the kind of relief and response most essential. Our generous supporters are standing strong with us and helping us provide relief to thousands of families. We aim to reach out to 50,000 people and 1.5 lakh people in Bihar and Assam, respectively, and appeal to our supporters for their continuous support.

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