Oxfam India in flood hit Kerala: Stories from the ground

Oxfam India in flood hit Kerala: Stories from the ground

Kerala witnessed the worst floods in 100 years, in 2018, killing over 417 people and affecting lakhs of them. Oxfam India worked tirelessly with the most vulnerable communities in Kerala, to meet their urgent needs.

Read below, how Oxfam’s immediate support helped residents recover from floods.

Oxfam India's response in flood hit Kerala.

1. Kunjumol
Almost six months after floods hit Kerala, residents of the Scheduled Caste colony in Alappuzha district now are on their road to recovery from the distress of the floods. 

“This was almost an empty house when we returned after one-month stay at the relief camp. Except the cot and almirah, which were mired in sludge, there was nothing. Everything had gone with the water. There was no work and no money. So buying the lost items was not practically possible,” Kunjumol, the 48-year-old Dalit woman, who is a daily wage labourer, said. 

“All the items in your (Oxfam India) kit are useful. I can’t name a single item as the most useful. In fact, we are using almost all the items,” she said. Oxfam India provided hygiene and shelter kits to residents of the district.

“In the colony we have a water supply system. However, it is not functioning properly. At times there won’t be water for three-four days. In those days we have no other option but to use the water from the nearby stream. Now, after getting the buckets, aqua tabs and filter, we could drink safe water. We are really thankful for that,” Kunjumol said.


Kerala was hit by the worst floods in 100 years, in 2018

2. Hima 
21 year old Hima built a makeshift house after flood hit her village in Alappuzha district, Kerala. She found Oxfam India shelter kits containing tarpaulin and ground sheets very useful.

“When we were struggling to start from the scratch, you people arrived and provided us with the materials for repairing our shelter and start the household works in a better way. We have used the tarpaulin sheets over the area where we used to sleep. It’s of good quality and even during rain, we could sleep because of those sheets,” said Manoj Kumar, Hima’s father.

According to Hima, floods submerge her district every year and residents take it casually. One day water rose uncontrollably and her family had to swim to safety. Later a rescue boat took them to a relief camp. When the family returned to their house after spending more than a month at the camp, they could only find debris at the place.

“Flood water washed away everything we had and destroyed our house,” Hima said. She further added, “We are thankful to Oxfam for providing the hygiene and shelter kits. We received the kit when we were struggling to find out some materials to make a roof over our heads. Oxfam buckets and aqua tabs were also helpful. They addressed our concerns over the availability of safe drinking water,” said Hima, heaving a sigh of relief.


Through its Disaster Risk Reduction programme, Oxfam India distributed hygiene and shelter kits to 9940 household spread in Wayanad, Idukki and Alappuzha districts of Kerala. Each kit contained the following items: Oxfam bucket, mug, NADCC tablet, savlon, under garments, water filter, solar lantern, nail cutter, comb, mosquito net, bedsheet, ORS packet, tooth paste, brush, washing soap, and bathing soap. 


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