BLESS

Project Theme

Disaster Risk Reduction

Target Group

Others

Project Period

01 Apr 2016 - 31 Jul 2016

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Introduction

Floods in November-December 2015 devastated parts of Tamil Nadu. BLESS, with support from Oxfam India, intervened and carried out emergency relief operations, which helped flood affected communities to sustain and maintain themselves. There is a need now for handholding and help them recover from the loss due to floods. Early Recovery Project is being planned with this goal and objective. 

 

About the Project: 

The objective of the present project is “To Develop Disaster Resilient Communities through Early Recovery” interventions. The project duration will be 4 months. The thematic programme area is Disaster Resilience Communities in the flood affected 40 villages in 7 blocks namely, Cuddalore, Bhuvangiri, Keerapalayam, Kurinjipadi in Cuddalore District 8 villages in Kunrathur, Sriperumpudur, Walajabad blocks in Kancheepuram district, Tamil Nadu, India.

 

Results to be Achieved: 

  • 40 Project Team and Support Team members got 4 orientation cum capacity building training
  • 40 Community Level DRR Committees,  4 Village WASH Committees and 4 Children Clubs formed and strengthened
  • Kitchen Gardens in all households
  • Goats and Poultry units distributed to --- families
  • Tools and equipment distributed to ----labourers
  • Skill development trainings imparted to --- youth
  • UCT has been provided to ----- vulnerable persons
  • 40 Awareness campaigns on WASH organized in 40 villages, 22 Schools and 26 Balwadis
  • 1 Hand  pump repaired and raised platforms constructed 
  • 75 Toilets with raised platforms constructed
  • Water Testing done in 19 villages in Cuddalore dt
  • Networking and linkages build up established with Government Line Departments for accessing Government Welfare measures by the flood affected community

 

Prior Achievements:

  • 5431 families from 40 villages and slums had availed the Food and Non Food Items, distributed by Oxfam and facilitated by BLESS
  • 14 flood devastated villages supported under DELL had been cleaned of debris, garbage and trash
  • Under the Public Health programme (PHP), 29 village WASH Committees and 14 School Children Clubs had been formed and strengthened with monthly meetings
  • Capacity building on WASH, Menstrual Hygiene, Hand washing, Preparation of ORS with house visits on monitoring of clean and healthy neighbourhood environment had been initiated in all the villages and slum.
  • Three stages Dust Bin provided in all villages and wall paintings on WASH had been done with IEC materials distribution in villages under DELL
  • Hand pumps in 8 villages had been repaired and revamped with raised platforms
  • Water testing had been carried out under DELL villages
  • Water Filters had been installed in 14 schools and 18 Balwadis
  • 20 Toilets had been constructed in Pinnalur village and construction of 25 toilets had been going on in Cuddalore dt and 14 toilets had been constructed in Kancheepuram dt.
  • The old well at Pinnalur had been cleaned and school children and community are now using the well water
  • Chlorination of water with Tablets  had been provided to all the households
  • Hand pumps had been repaired with raised platforms in the target villages/slums
  • Unconditional Cash Transfer had been effected to 102 vulnerable persons in Kanchipuram district and 350 persons in Cuddalore district 
  • World Water Day and Hygiene Mela were organized with sports and cultural competitions
  • All the PHP volunteers had undergone two capacity building trainings

 

Quotes of Beneficiaries: 

“The utensils and cook stove from Oxfam really helped. I found the solar lamp, groundsheet and tarpaulin to be the most useful. The tarpaulin prevents rain from dripping through our thatch roof and the groundsheet gave us some dry space to lie down on. No one ever helps us but Oxfam came to us when we least expected it.” - Vanarojak, a widow from the Irrular tribe in Sethupettu village of Kanchipuram district

 

Case Studies/Human stories: 

Suryakala enthusiastically came forward when Oxfam was looking for Public Health Promotion (PHP) volunteers in the affected villages. After receiving training for Oxfam, she has been going from household to household in her village to raise awareness on hygiene maintenance. She took up this responsibility because she loves her community and she thinks awareness will help improve the sanitation conditions and hygiene levels in her village. She particularly cares about the little children and she wants to actively bring about a change in community mindsets so that they can be healthier.

“We live in a congested village. People defecate in the open quite nearby. After my training with Oxfam where I learnt about the F-disease transmission diagram, I realised how harmful this is for all of us, especially little children. I learnt how diseases spread. Oxfam also showed me how little changes in our day to lives can prevent them from spreading.”

Besides teaching her fellow community members the 8-step hand washing procedure, chlorine tablet usage and the F-transmission disease chart, Suryakala is motivated to encourage her community members to take their own initiative to put a stop to open defecation. 

She envisions a healthier village and she enjoys working as a PHP volunteer because she finds it to be a very rewarding responsibility. She feels it is difficult to change mindsets overnight but she can already see improved personal hygiene and hygienic cooking conditions in many households and she believes a clean and healthy village is possible if she continues to work hard enough.

Suryakala. R- PHP volunteer of Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu