Kerala floods 2018 – CASA’s response initiative so far
Kerala, India is experiencing the largest disaster of floods and land slides since 1924. The torrential rain since May 10, 2018 hit several places in Kerala and rain continued through the first week of August, overwhelming several dams. On August 10, 22 dams were opened by the Kerala government. Due to continuous rain, mountain soil got loose and created devastating landslides in many places in the hilltop areas.Over 40 lakh communities were affected, 357 people lost their lives and over 3000 relief camps are still running. Estimated loss of public and private properties is over Rs. 9000 Crore.
Global Ministries partner CASA (Church’s Auxiliary for Social Action) was one of the first organizations to respond to Kerala floods.
Like any other major disaster relief and rehabilitation, CASA’s response to the Kerala floods can be divided into three phases:
Phase 1: Immediate Relief Timing – Within 48 hours to One Week
There was an immediate need to provide food and safe place. People moved to high land places such as temples, mosques, churches or public places. CASA worked with five local partners and provided dry rations (rice, wheat floor, oil, sugar, salt, lentils, tea leaves, and drinking water). We reached out to 4675 families in 7 affected districts – Kottayam, Allapuzha, Pathanamthitta, Wayanad, Idukki, Ernakulam and Kozhikode. During this phase, a rapid assessment was also conducted to decide on further needs for relief.
Phase 2: Relief Timing – Post One Week to 3-4 Months
Following were the needs emerged as per the assessment and recommendations from the affected communities.
- Food security kit – rice, wheat flour, green gram, salt, sugar, coconut oil, turmeric Powder, tea leaves and chili powder
- Non-food items – clothes (sari, dhoti), blanket, and utensils
- Hygiene kit – sanitary napkin, soap, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, laundry soap, antiseptic (Dettol), comb, sewing kit, mirror, nail clipper, hand towel, undergarments and toilet tissue
CASA is providing relief to 6000 families in 6 affected districts – Kottayam, Allapuzha, Pathanamthitta, Wayanad, Idukki and Ernakulam. Another immediate need is housing repair. We are providing shelter repair support to 150 families. Many more are in need. During this phase, an assessment is being conducted to assess the long term rehabilitation needs.
Phase 3: Rehabilitation Timing – 3-4 Months to 2 Years
Assessment was conducted on the following areas: shelter, food and nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene, health, education and protection of children from trafficking. Based on Post Disaster Need Analysis, CASA will work with the government wherever possible to meet the infrastructure needs. Also, based on assessment, CASA will provide livelihood support for rehabilitation of affected people. CASA’s long term intervention would include:
- Cleaning of agricultural land
- Support to self help groups and livelihood support to identified villagers
- Kitchen and garden
- House repair
- Multipurpose shelter construction on stilts
CASA will be providing rehabilitation support to 2000 households in Kottayam district.