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Update on Kerala Flood Relief 3rd September 2018 - DMMU, EHA

Background scenario

  1. 12 of 14 districts worst affected by Kerala floods with 483+ lives lost so far. 15 missing.
  2. Damage assessments under way. However, an estimate of 50,000 Crores rupees worth lost according to Kerela’s Census reports.
  3. More than 3 lakh farmers affected. Incidences of suicide are reported.
  4. 221 bridges damaged. More than 10,000 Km of roads damaged.
  5. More than 20,774 houses have been damaged heavily.
  6. Efforts required to work to prevention of outbreak of water borne disease
  7. The Chief Minister of Kerala stressed the need for skilled workforce for rebuilding work. 
  8. Herculean tasks ahead for individual families for cleaning debris and muds from their houses and surrounding.

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Rapid Spot Assessment

23rd August 2018: Following series of communications, interactions and going through secondary information and meetings, the decision was made to do a spot visit, against all the hesitation and confusions over State’s capacity to respond to and cope with the situation.

DMMU formed a Rapid Spot Assessment (RSA) team with – Shem Raomai, Peniel Malakar, Thomas Kurien, Dr. George Clarence and Merin Thomas. The first team with Shem and Thomas Kurien arrived Kerala on 23rd August 2018. The team initially based at Ernakulum and visited 2 relief camps (UC College & Mar Gregorious School) and 6 villages namely – AC Colony, Pandanad, Muttar 5 & Muttar 6, Vizharapara, Poovam,  Aluva, Paravoor in the borders of Ernakulum, Aleppuzha, Kottyam and Pathanamthitta districts.

One other major task was to find a suitable local partner. Initial communication with CARD (Christian Agency for Rural Development) eventually led to meet the Metropolitan (Head) of the Marthoma Church of India (MCI) HQ at Thiruvalla, who endorsed the CARD-EHA partnership.

Thiruvalla being the central location of most of the villages identified, and the CARD HQ being in the same location, the team finalized its base at Thiruvalla.

29th August 2018: Mr. Peniel Malakar, Dr. George Clarence and Ms. Merin Thomas joined the RSA team at Thiruvalla and visited Nakra and Veliyanad villages along with CARD staff.

The day began with a meeting with leaders from Evangelical Church. The EC is open for partnership with EHA for not just relief, but also for a long term Rehabilitation and DRR program.

Later we met the Director, CARD led by Mr. Peniel, who explained in details the common understanding areas, finance and procurement protocols etc. The meeting was attended by several senior leaders who suggested the potential recovery program and long term DRR program with CARD.

A partnership agreement/MoU was developed with CARD (a social wing of Marthoma Church of India) due to their continued interest and presence in areas we have initially assessed. CARD also cooperated and supported the EHA team right from the beginning assisting in connecting to villages for RSA.  

The RSA also include d need for health and possible outbreak of diseases. Dr. George Clarence was greatly helpful in understanding the need and help decide action that is apt, at the moment. Lack of safe drinking water was a common problem and challenges. Additionally, Kottanadu areas are still submerged by the flood water. These villages require genuine recovery initiative and DRR.

Provision of water tanks in several villages is essential for safe drinking water and bleaching powder to prevent any possible outbreak of diseases. There are already reports on outbreak of leptospirosis in flood-ravaged areas.

Following this, under Health, we have kept a provision for outbreak prevention materials in the relief package.

The RSA team also visited to Idukku hill and Padanand areas on 31st August and 1st September, to explore possible areas of response in case of additional resources available.

Following these visits, the team could finally come to a clear decision on areas for response and relief packages, and hence, the RSA activity was wrapped up. Ms. Merin Thomas and Dr. George Clarence returned to the Units. We are thankful for their assistance. Rev. Kabi Gangmei, Director of APBAID also visited along with the second RSA team from 29th August till 1st September 2018 and added valuable inputs to our discussions that helped crystallizing the relief operation plan. We really appreciate him and APBAID for this contribution. We deeply hope that APBAID would be able to bring in meaningful amount of financial resources as well for enhanced response activity in the flood-devastated villages. 

Flood-ravaged Kerala has seen a spurt in communicable diseases, as the administration struggles to prevent and contain them with a debilitated healthcare system. In August alone, the state government’s Integrated Disease Surveillance Project recorded 171 cases of leptospirosis with four deaths, against 46 cases with six deaths last August. Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease transmitted mainly through water or soil contaminated by the urine of infected animals. Source: LiveMint.

Relief Package

  1. Prevention of disaster outbreak
    1. Provision of disinfectants x 3
    2. Bleaching powder x 2
    3. Sani brush x 1
  2. Hygiene kit
    1. Soap x 5
    2. Detergent x 3
    3. Towels x 2
    4. Plastic mats x 2
    5. Sani pads/Cotton cloth x 20 
    6. Bed sheet x 1
  3. Kitchen Utensils
    1. Cooking vessel x 1
    2. Tea pan x 1
    3. Glasses x 4
    4. Plates x 4
    5. Mug x 1
    6. Bucket x 1 

Beneficiary villages identified

The beneficiary villages were identified based on the villages affected heavily, their being low income group and there is no sign of other agencies responding.

House Hold Survey (HHS)

The team has begun the HHS survey on 2nd September following a brief sensitization and training of volunteers on 1st September 2018. The following volunteers – Fibin; Robin; Prateep; Dinesh; Mihir; Githiyon; Chris; Rony; Salmon; Shamsydhin, Aswin; Rinju; Vivek; Adarsh; Ashly; Abin; George; Darwin. Mr. Roshin Sam, an ex-EHA staff was identified as volunteer to cover HHS and Distribution activities as Community Coordinator.

For More Details Please Visit DMMU EHA Website


Prepared by

Peniel Malakar. On behalf of the TEAM – KFR18
Relief Base office: CARD office, Thiruvalla. Kerala