India Floods Update 13 August 2007
Bihar and Uttar Pradesh continue to remain the worst affected states in India. The flood situation in Assam, Orissa, and Gujarat is under control.
India’s Minister for Information and Broadcasting Mr. P.R. Dasmunshi has been quoted in the press as saying “The floods seen in 20 states across the country are the worst in recent history.”
According to government figures, the floods have affected 34.87 million people in India thus far. As many as 28,706 villages have been affected and 262,743 houses have been fully damaged.
In these states, UNICEF staff members are working closely with local authorities and NGOs in regularly assessing the situation in the affected areas and providing emergency medical and humanitarian relief. Besides supplying pre-positioned emergency relief items to the affected people, UNICEF is scaling up the humanitarian response in UP, Bihar, Orissa and Assam.
Water in the major rivers continues to recede although it is still flowing above the danger level. There has not been any significant rainfall in the catchments area in the last few days although heavy rains are expected later in August and early September.
The total number of people affected by floods n Bihar is about 14 million.
The state government has deployed 223 medical teams in the affected districts. Food items such as rice, wheat, jaggery and chura have been distributed to the affected population. The army is supporting relief operations in the affected areas.
Responding to a request from the district administration, UNICEF despatched five trucks with relief materials to the flood affected districts in the last two days. Supplies have been rushed to Samastipur, Madhepura, East Champaran, Saharsa and Supaul districts.
The supplies include:
The supplies will benefit about 30,000 affected people, mostly women and children.
Additional rapid assessments have been conducted in Madhubani and Sitamarhi districts and 50 medical teams consisting of two doctors each are conducting health camps in the affected districts.
Mass measles immunisation drives for the most vulnerable children up to 10 years of age have been conducted.
UNICEF’s state network of about 500 district and block coordinators and 100 NGO partners have been mobilised to assist the district administration and UNICEF in the relief operations. Medical focal persons have been placed in 10 districts to assist district administrations in health and nutrition relief measures.
UNICEF, along with the state disaster management cell, is also coordinating with international NGOs to ensure that relief materials are reaching the affected areas and that medical teams are deployed.
No significant rains reported over the past few days and water continues to recede. All rivers are reported to be flowing at static level or below danger level.
Total population affected is 2.5 million people out of which 165,000 have been displaced.
The government continues with its supplies of basic food and household materials to people still living in camps. 512 teams of doctors have been deployed in 20 affected districts to continuously provide medical succour and monitor the health situation.
UNICEF has designated 7 staff members as focal points for the 7 most severely affected districts to act as lead coordinators in these areas.
In partnership with Art of Living foundation, the National Cadet Corps (NCC) and the Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP), UNICEF has deployed two medical teams to Bahraich and Barabanki on 10th August to set up health relief camps for the displaced population there.
18 doctors have been contracted by UNICEF to work with district administration in the affected districts and evolve partnerships with NGOs and other community based organisations to coordinate relief activities.
No significant rainfall was reported during the past 48 hours. Inundated areas still have stagnant water which poses a grave health risk to the population.
Almost 6.67 million people have been affected with 26 out of 27 districts hit by floods in the state. 146,621 people are living in 669 relief camps.
The government has constituted health teams in all affected districts to provide health services at relief camps. The government has also distributed rice, legumes, salt, mustard oil, tarpaulin sheets and mustard oil to the affected population.
1700 tube wells have been installed.
UNICEF has so far arranged for supplies of items worth US$ 79,000 for distribution in Assam. These include:
- PUR sachets for water purification
- ORS sachets
- Water testing kits
- Jerry cans,
- Sanitary pans
- Water distribution kits, and
- Recreation kits
Rains are continuing in Orissa and rivers are either flowing above the danger mark or will do so in the next few days.
Road communication has been cut off between districts in the southern part of Orissa.
Per government estimates, around 1.5 million people in 1,825 villages in six districts are presently affected by heavy rainfall and floods.
150 cases of diarrhoea have been reported by local media in Cuttack heightening fears of an outbreak of enteric diseases.
10 mobile medical vans with a five member crew each (1 doctor and 4 para medics) are working in the affected areas. Halogen and aqua tab tablets are being distributed in the affected areas for disinfection of drinking water.
UNICEF is closely monitoring the situation and stepping up its pre-positioning of supplies. UNICEF is actively assisting the authorities in preparing contingency plans for containment of disease outbreaks and restoration of disrupted services like immunisation and safe drinking water supply.
Heavy rains have flooded around 800 villages in the four districts of Porbandar, Junagarh, Jamnagar and Rajkot over the past one week.
100,000 people have been evacuated to safer places. The district administration has distributed cash doles and family kits to the affected population.
UNICEF continues to monitor the situation closely. The state has not made any request for external assistance as on date.