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Save the Children India’s Humanitarian Response

Cyclone Vardah made a landfall on 12th of December has devastated five districts in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

Save the Children field teams on the ground have conducted first day rapid assessments and have identified priority villages and hamlets to mount a rapid response.

We are mounting a Category 4 response with an initial target of 3,000 Households – approximately 13,500 population (including 5,670 children).

This is an earnest request from Save the Children India for starting humanitarian response actions on the field.

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Assam lies in the north eastern part of the country which remains relatively isolated from the mainland. As a side effect of which it fails to find mention in national news once the main disaster is over. However, owing to our experience in responding to flood situations across the country, we have realized that the true effect of the flood is only revealed to our teams once the flood water recedes and assessments take place. Assessment stake up another 3-4 days and then the true situation of the aftermath is seen, by when national media leaves the frontline.

Assam is still receiving heavy rainfall, however, aid is not pouring in as the situation is not declared as an emergency.

Impact on Children - “Massive internal displacement caused by floods and ethnic violence has taken a toll on the children in the State. In many cases, children were trafficked from the relief camps for flood and violence victims. According to a UNICEF study, six districts of Sonitpur, Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Baksa, Kokrajhar, Udalguri and Kamrup are most vulnerable for trafficking.

Geographical extent and water levels - Bihar is one of the worst flood-hit states in India with 175 deaths and nearly half a million people evacuated. Out of the 24 impacted, the worst affected districts are Patna, Bhagalpur, Vaishali, Buxar, Bhojpur, Sonepur, Saran, Begusarai, Samastipur, Lakhisarai, Khagaria, Munger, Nalanda and Katihar. The Ganges at Bhagalpur is at record levels of 34.67 metres, beating the previous high of 34.5 metres set in September 2013. The Sone, Punpun, Burhi Gandak, Ghaghra and Kosi are also flowing above danger levels in several areas. Bihar Department of Disaster Management say that 115,000 people are staying in 262 relief camps.

Khagaria (new intervention area) – Apart from Kishanganj and Katihar, Save the children, India is mounting response in Khagaria. The fury of the flood in the recent week (22nd -28th Aug. 2016) has been unprecedented. The rise in water levels has been by 4ft, which has led to the submergence of several villages and their agricultural land under water (as per field team on ground). Khagaria is facing floods of the worst kind with water level in Burhi Gandak flowing above the danger mark. In a report, by local daily, Dainik Jagran, the plight of the children in these areas has been brought to light.

No milk or baby food is available for children in any camps and the villages under water. The families are surviving on the rations they were able to salvage during the flooding and are unable to provide adequate meals to the children. The devastating situation is being continued in Chaidha, Nav Toliya Paswan Tola under Thatha Panchayat of Mansi Block and Baluahi Bus Stand under the Nagar Prishad Panchayat, Sadar block of Khagaria district. Women and children are the most sufferers in the village. People are compelled to leave their houses and relocated with their livestock’s and other goods to the railway track, NH-31 and available community shelters in the village.

FACT FILE OF Bihar Floods
General impact data  
Loss of Lives 175
Number of districts affected 24
Number of blocks affected 150
Number of Villages affected 3,986
Total Population affected (Cumulative) 7,230,000
Children affected 3,325,800
Affected Crops (to be updated) 288,000
Estimated value of damaged crop area (Rs in Lakh) 2,650,400,000
No. of houses damaged ( to be updated) 23,583
Pucca Houses Fully destroyed 87
Pucca Houses Partly destroyed 203
Kachcha Houses Fully destroyed 2,890
Kachcha Houses Partly destroyed 8,598
Huts 11,805
Estimated value of damaged house (in INR) 151,000,000
Estimated value of damaged to public properties (in INR) 87,000,000

Water Levels - The recent floods in Uttar Pradesh have now affected 870,000 people in 987 villages of 28 districts. Over 60,000 people have been evacuated, mostly from the districts of Varanasi, Allahabad, Ghazipur and Ballia and 30,247 are currently staying in relief camps. Banda, Jalaun, and Ghaziabad districts have also been badly affected. India’s Central Water Commission say that rivers, including the Ganges, are above warning levels in 14 different locations. Ballia of Uttar Pradesh has recorded unprecedented flood levels. The Ganges at Ballia is at a record high of 60.39 metres, beating the previous high of 60.25 from September 2003.

Losses incurred - Eight districts have reported an estimated loss of crop of over Rs 1,216 lakh. In over 10 districts, around 30,000 hectares of sown crops have been affected. Both the Ganga and Yamuna have crossed the danger mark by more than a metre, and water levels in both the rivers are steadily rising by a rate of about three cm per hour. Schools remained closed in several towns and cities (Varansi and Allahbad) due to severe flooding and water logging.

Health related issues - High humidity, rains and temperature fluctuations have brought with them a spate of infections that people are grappling with. Currently, government hospitals are struggling to keep up with the rise in number of patients with symptoms of viral fever, diarrhoea and other seasonal diseases. These hospitals are gearing up for malaria outbreak which follows once the flood waters start to recede.

Shravsti (intervention area) – So far 10 people have lost their lives in Shravasti district. Rapti river which flows in this area, has created an unprecedented flood situation. Following floods, the district scorched under the sun distressing the kharif crop and the labour. The district has received fresh showers on 31st August 2016.

According to CWC, continuous rains from 7th July have caused the water levels of Narmada River to rise to 292.5 meters resulting in floods in various districts of Madhya Pradesh. Some of the worst hit areas are the districts of Bhopal, Shajapur, Jabalpur, Satna, Harda and Panna. More than 300,000 people have been affected by the flooding and at least 22 people have died.

The NDRF teams have been carrying out rescue and operations and have rescued 7000 marooned people to safer places. As the water levels are continually rising 15,000 people have been evacuated and are currently staying in 68 relief camps set up by the Government for flood victims.