Friday, September 12, 2008

Updates on September 12, 2008

Need to raise over 100,000 USD to carry on the relief operations

Here are the updates from our partners Dharmendra, Ashish and Kamayani who are working on the ground for providing relief to Bihar Flood victims in the areas including Madhepura, Araria, Supaul, Saharsa, Khagaria.

This update is taken by Nishank.

From Dharmendra ji:

As Dharmendraji reported, in Madhepura they are closely working with Bar Association Secretary Krishna Narayan to carry on the relief work. They were supposed to visit 4 camps in Madhepura block with their "mobile hospital" but could only visit 2 due to lack of medicines. They also visited 2 camps in Saharsa with their mobile hospital. The need for medicines is urgent and also more doctors are needed for providing the medical relief.

Dharmedra ji's team is also working in collaboration with the Mukhiya of the Hasanpur village for a relief camp there.

Meanwhile, they had a meeting where the teams from Saharsa, Khagaria, Supaul and Araria came to decide the plan of action for carrying out the relief work in these areas. With the relief materials pouring in from different places, the challenge is to coordinate the distribution in a timely manner.

Our AID Jeevansaathi from Chennai, Balaji Sampath has also reached Madhepura and assessing the situation there.

According to his estimates, we immediately need to raise over 100,000 USD to carry on the relief operations because the needs are unsurmountable, and any amount of funds would prove small. But at the same time, it is important to ensure that we do the best we can in helping the flood victims.

Meanwhile, Dharmendra ji was explaining that they are planning to establish relief centers in Supaul, Saharsa and Khagaria. They would include two blocks in one center and still the situation in many of the villages needs to be assessed where no relief work has reached yet.

He also explained the situation in few of the villages where earlier at the least the boats where reachable, but now since the water has receded, neither the boats can be reached nor it is still suitable to be traveled by road, thus relief work getting hampered.

Right now even the main town of Madhepura is submerged in water and the only way their relief team is able to travel in those areas is on motorcycles with the wheels under water. In one of the areas Bhajanpatti in Kishanpur Panchayat, many snakes have started coming in the village which is causing panic among the people there. The villagers there have also seen some dead bodies floating in the water but they don't know how to perform the last rites. They also told of an instance where a person clinged to a tree for about 15 days but was finally saved. They are also covering other areas in Kishanpur Panchayat from ward No. 12 to ward No.17 including villages BhajanPatti, Kuan Tola, Paharpur, Dhaddi.

In Beldaur block in Khagaria, a team of 6 doctors would be coming from Chennai and they also have to rely on local buying of medicines as they are still waiting for medicines to reach from other places.

One of the sad outcomes of the flood is that many families have got totally fragmented, where 2-3 members from each family are going to different camps or to their relatives in different places. In some of the villages the elders of the family have sent away the ladies and children to safer places and are themselves guarding the only home they have, even though with lack of food.

There is also an acute problem of safe drinking water, and only few handpumps are able to provide water. Even the halogen tablets used for purification of water is not available to everyone.

From Ashish:

In Supual, their team is working on providing medical relief. Their team is in the process of arranging the

Medical team in that area. They are expecting medicines to arrive soon from Banaglore.

In the last 2-3 days they have been working in the Bhargama Block in Araria where few of the volunteers have also come from Supaul. They have managed to get the help of around 35 volunteers including many local youths. On September 9th they carried on a 24 hours relief operation in a place called JVC Nahar in Araria where they distributed around 15 tonnes of food packets and clothes which came in 4 tractors. The volunteers are carrying all the relief operations on their own. They also got the support from the local administration in crossing the Nahar. On 10th September they visited Raniganj block and on 11th September they visited Narpatganj.

The next block they would be visiting is Forbesganj.

Their next plan of action includes doing survey in the relief camps about the loss of livelihood and property of the flood victims to get a fair idea on the amount of damage done by the calamity. This survey in various relief camps would be carried on by the volunteers themselves.

They have also formed a control center in Araria for stocking and distribution of the relief material coming
from other places and they have also made living arrangements for the volunteers in the control center.

From Kamayani:

The relief work in Araria is going on at its full pace and they are waiting for the medical team which would be coming from Maharashtra on 12th September. They would also be bringing medicines with them which would be used for distribution in the relief camps. Meanwhile, the number of camps by Govt. is increasing in the area and also many of the locals have started going back in their villages.

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