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Caritas India scaling up Assam relief response amid flood and landslide

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Parboti Chawra could salvage only her family in the floods, the rest was washed out including food, clothing, and essentials. She used to live with her husband and a child in Thepelaguri village in the Hojai District of Assam. They managed the first wave of flood with great difficulty but the second wave that hit on June 16, 2022, gave a final blow by submerging the whole village in water. The family survived by taking refuge in higher land.

“We are living in misery; cannot afford even to buy a mosquito net, soaps, mats, or tarpaulin,” said Praboti. When the family arrived at the higher land, they had no roof over their heads, until Caritas India provided Tarpaulin, a sleeping mat and a mosquito net. They also provided hygiene kit including bathing and washing soaps, sanitary napkins, bucket and mug through the funding support of Caritas Germany.

She said these materials helped in the second phase of the flood, as they could equip and use the kits to make tents and other use.

“It’s a great initiative by Caritas India,” said Parboti. This support was helpful in keeping the future perspective for further use in times of need.

It helped a lot to protect them from rain and sun during the second phase of the flood and also when they returned home from camps. The kits were helpful because even though they returned home but there is no proper place to sleep because of the wet and muddy surface. So they made a tent out of relief kits and are spending their night.

Caritas India has supported 850 families in the Hojai and Cachar districts of Assam under the Caritas Germany Funding. The flood situation in the state remained grim due to constant rains and landslides. The death toll rose to 159 and nearly 30 lakh people still affected since April this year.

Caritas India has conducted the second rapid needs assessment from 23rd June 2022 to 25th June 2022 in the Districts of Barpeta, Cachar, West Karbi Anglong and Hojai. The assessment revealed that the lack of adequate social safety nets and deeply shrunk livelihoods are causing untold hardships and distress under the backdrop of devastating floods and the pandemic. This has created a serious issue of hunger and lack of essential nutrition, lack of access to clean drinking water, lack of access to the dignified shelter due to shelter damage, etc.

As a response, Caritas India is supporting the affected communities with relief distribution of hygiene kits, food kits and shelter kits in the districts of Cachar, Hojai and West Karbi Anglong reaching a population of more than 14,000. In June, Caritas India distributed a total of 1880 hygiene kits, 692 food kits, 550 shelter kits and 780 NFI Kits in 7 villages of Hojai and 475 hygiene/NFI kits in 10 villages of Cachar and Hojai. Apart from the relief distribution, Caritas India plans to carry out hand pump cleaning, hygiene promotion activities and fund transfer to the most marginalized groups and affected population.