Our Response in Kerala and Uttarakhand

Our Response in Kerala and Uttarakhand

In Uttarakhand, floods and landslides in October claimed lives of 76 people. Districts such as Nainital, Pithoragarh, Almora, Champawat, and Uddham Singh Nagar were badly affected, with Nainital being hit the hardest. People in the affected areas lost their homes, land, livestock, and crops. Roads were swept away and villages were cut off from the main road for almost three days and left without electricity and phone connectivity.

Oxfam India first visited the affected areas, spoke to the people there (many of whom were from the Scheduled Caste community), and conducted a Rapid Needs Assessment (RNA). The RNA team had a meeting with the Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami and presented their findings, following which the CM requested that Oxfam work in the affected areas.

The Oxfam team assembled food and hygiene kits, as well as shelter and kitchen utensils kits. The food and hygiene kits comprised rice, wheat flour, cooking oil, salt, buckets and mugs, masks, soap, and sanitary napkins. The shelter and kitchen utensils kit comprised blankets, mosquito nets, solar lanterns and pots, pans, glasses, plates, and spoons.

In Nainital districts, Ramnagar and Kotabag blocks, 673 food and hygiene kits, and 50 shelter and kitchen kits were distributed. Overall, 3800 people have received food and shelter kits.

Also in October, in Kerala, heavy and continuous rainfall resulted in high-intensity floods and landslides that caused widespread damage. Among the affected districts, Idukki and Kottayam were the worst affected. Twenty-six lives were lost. Roads were swept away and houses were damaged. Many villages were left without electricity and phone connectivity.

Oxfam India identified four districts in Kerala in urgent need of support – Idukki, Kottayam, Alappuzha, and Pathanamthitta. Most of the people who were affected belonged to Dalit, Adivasi and OBC communities.

Support from Oxfam India was provided in the form of food kits, hygiene and safety kits, shelter kits, school cleaning drives, awareness and sensitization programmes, and provisions under the WASH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene) project. Oxfam India engaged 16 students from St. Berchmans College who are doing their Masters in Social Work - for support with documentation and relief distribution.

In Pathanamthitta and Alappuzha - 144 wells were dewatered, cleaned, chlorinated and repaired. Relief material was assembled in the form of dry rations, hygiene and safety kits, and shelter kits. Dry rations comprised necessities such as rice, potatoes, salt, sugar, and tea. The hygiene kits consisted of buckets, mugs, masks, soaps, sanitary napkins, etc. Shelter kits comprised fleece blankets and mosquito nets.

Overall, 2347 people from the four districts have received dry rations and shelter and hygiene kits.

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