Thousands Flee India Flood Fear, Relief Efforts Continue

Thousands of people in northern India have evacuated the flood-ridden areas that has left thousands homeless and hundreds dead. Meanwhile Christians continue providing their assistance through partne
( [email protected] ) Aug 14, 2004 07:33 PM EDT

Five thousand people in northern India have been evacuated as fears grow that a lake in Tibet may overflow and flood the state, officials say. As India continues to reel under floods, Christian relief agencies and NGO’s are continuing their work to provide much-needed assistance to victims of the flood.

The DCC (Disaster Coordination Committee) consisting of 4 partners are networking together by assisting each other with information on interventions. The partners—the Evangelical Fellowship of India Commission on Relief, ICOR, Emmanuel Hospital Association, Discipleship Center & NEICORD—have reported that the extent of damage to agriculture in the flood-affected districts was heavy, hundreds of thousands of people have been made homeless and 675 have died.

The flood has affected over 20 million people spread over 9,336 villages in 20 districts. According to a Central Water Commission bulletin, all major rivers are showing a receding trend and are flowing below their danger marks. The situation remains grim though the water in the flood affected areas of Muzaffarpur, Samastipur and Begusarai have started receding. Some people have started to return to their respective places from the embankments.

The Evangelical Fellowship of India Commission on Relief (EFICOR) gave the following report on the efforts of the DCC:

Samastipur: “As floodwaters recede in some areas, there are fears of water-borne epidemics breaking out in the relief camps and communities cut off from other parts of the state, health officials point out. Dead bodies of people and animals and faecal matter are found floating in the water.

“A 12-member medical team from Emmanuel Hospital Association (EHA), our DCC partner, is conducting a two-week medical camp in Samastipur. The team consists of four doctors and each has been treating nearly 100-150 people per day for various ailments like diarhoea and fever etc. The medical team visited Shisinghpur, Muktapur, Nathudwar and Hasanpur.

“Spraying bleaching powder to disinfect water to make it fit for drinking purpose was initially delayed due to a strike in entire Bihar as a mark of protest against the inefficiency of Bihar police, is now progressing well in three villages of Samastipur.

“The collector of Samastipur has requested EFICOR to include Shivajinagar and Bithan blocks for relief work.

“Identification of vulnerable people for the 2nd phase of relief has started.”

Muzaffarpur: “Materials distributed to 4,000 families. Two doctors are posted here from EHA. DCC is meeting together for further plan of action.”

Madhubani: “Materials have been dispatched for 1000 families for distribution with the help of our partner GEMS. One doctor from EHA has been posted here.”

Khagaria: “Very badly affected and proposed for relief.”

Madhepura: “Relief materials were distributed to 500 families each in Kumarkant and Alamnagar. Water is receding and the people are getting back to their places.”

Distribution of materials was completed as follows: Muzaffarpur - 4,000 families, Begu Sarai - 1,650 families, Samastipur - 2,000 families, Madhubani - 1,000 families, and Madhepura - 1,000 families, for a total of 9,650 families.