Camillians plan rehabilitation for Uttarakhand flood victims
CTF India, led by Father Siby Kaitharan and two other religious are in Uttarakhand to deliver first aid and to make a ground evaluation for long-term aid. Phase I of project was initiated on August 3.
Camillian Task Force (CTF), the Camilliani Religious Order’s organisation that responds to natural or man-made disasters, has sent aid through their direct intervention teams to flood victims in the Indian Himalayan region of Uttarakhand.
The area most affected falls in the diocese of Bijnor. CTF India, led by Father Siby Kaitharan and two other religious are in Uttarakhand to deliver first aid and to make a ground evaluation for long-term aid. First phase of the CTF project started on August 3 with 13 volunteers.
The project will be divided into two phases. The initial phase is aimed at providing food, clothing and temporary shelters to the victims. The second will start within three months, focused more on social needs, psychosocial support and rebuilding homes for survivors.
CTF India has identified the village of Simlakala where over 107 families have lost everything. Survivors are now living in plastic tents waiting for help. Under its program, CTF India provides for food and water supply in refugee camps, health care assistance and construction of temporary housing.
CTF India missionaries reported large-scale death and destruction in the area. Unofficial reports quoted more than 14,000 deaths, while the official figure of 5,748 missing persons are now ‘presumed dead’, making this the worst disaster in the Himalayan region.
According to CTF report, the rivers and groundwater have been contaminated and is unfit for human consumption. Survivors have to travel long distances to fetch drinking water and do not have facilities to boil water.
The risks of diseases have increased due to lack of proper sanitation. In some villages, only high caste families have latrines. The poor defecate in the open, increasing the chance of contamination of water and spread of diseases. The affected population live in makeshift dwellings, built with scrap materials and are exposed to harsh weather conditions.
The people who lived on the river were forced to seek refuge in higher altitudes in unhealthy surroundings. Most have lost their jobs and are left with nothing to survive and rebuild homes.
An area of over 37 sq. km. in 168 districts was affected by the June flash floods. Landslides destroyed buildings, roads and bridges and disrupted communications. Public authorities, voluntary organizations and local agencies are working together to help the thousands displaced by the disaster.
Source: Agenzia Fides