Christian Aid is responding to the mass displacement of 400,000 people in Assam State, India, left homeless by incessant monsoon rains, that have already claimed 12 lives.
The heavy rains, which started in June and have worsened over the last few days, have burst the banks of rivers, flooding villages and agricultural land across 15,000 hectares throughout Assam State. The worst affected districts are Lakhimpur and Karimganj where over 300,000 people have had their homes destroyed. In total, 740 villages have been affected. Relief camps have been set up by government authorities and around 22,000 people are taking shelter in them.
Toilet facilities are also underwater and the risk of disease spreading throughout the area is extremely high.
Christian Aid has allocated more than £75,000 through its local partner organisation Indo Global Social Service Society (IGSSS) to provide emergency assistance. It is distributing shelter materials, including tarpaulin, rope and groundsheets, water filters, aqua tabs, soap and mosquito nets amongst other vital items in the Lakhimpur district this week.
Shivani Rana, Emergency Programme Officer at Christian Aid said: “We have had to organise a rapid response to this emergency. The numbers of people who need help are enormous and now persistent and very heavy rains are forecast for the coming days so numbers will grow. Villages have been wiped out by the flood water. People need shelter, clean drinking water and food. In the longer term though, we will need to help these people build back their lives.
“Getting access to those who need help is almost impossible because the roads are submerged so we have to rely on our partners’ local knowledge and use alternative routes”.
Notes to Editors:
1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in around 40 countries at any one time. We act where there is great need, regardless of religion, helping people to live a full life, free from poverty. We provide urgent, practical and effective assistance in tackling the root causes of poverty as well as its effects.
2. Christian Aid’s core belief is that the world can and must be changed so that poverty is ended: this is what we stand for. Everything we do is about ending poverty and injustice: swiftly, effectively, sustainably. Our strategy document Partnership for Change www.christianaid.org.uk/images/partnership-for-change-summary.pdf explains how we set about this task.
3. Christian Aid is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of more than 130 churches and church-related organisations that work together in humanitarian assistance, advocacy and development. Further details at http://actalliance.org
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5. For more information about the work of Christian Aid, visit http://www.christianaid.org.uk