Shaanxi, China: Plan China has launched relief efforts to help thousands of children and their families after seasonal monsoon rains caused landslides and floods in Shaanxi Province, central China. More than 300,000 people in 11 counties have been affected by the disaster.
After an initial assessment by Plan’s emergency response team along with government partners, Plan decided to invest about US$130,000 in relief efforts in Shaanxi.
Plan will reach more than 3,000 children by repairing pre-fabricated classroom as temporary learning space and dormitory for boarding students for schools in Xixiang County. It will also repair a bridge and set up a Child Centred Development Network to coordinate efforts in Hanyin County. Plan is also providing school materials, meals and bedding for affected students. In Nan Zheng County 1,000 children's relief kits have been distributed, containing 20 items warm such as clothes, bed sheets, soap, bandage and raincoats.
Mr Wang Shaoping, the Programme Manager for PU Management said: “As a child-centred development organisation, our floods response mainly focuses on children’s needs, especially on child education and protection. Currently, we have done the disaster assessment in the counties of Xixiang and Hanyin and confirmed the rehabilitation plan, and on 18th July, children’s kits were distributed to 1,000 children in Nanzheng County. In the future, as the raining season comes, many areas of China may likely face the heavy rain, Plan China are closely monitoring the situation and will take emergency response for the affected children once there is the need”.
In early-July, rainstorms lasting more than four hours caused floods and landslides in Shaanxi, forcing people from their homes and damaging crops, schools, roads and communications networks. Thousands of children are now unable to go to school and safely continue their education.
“On that morning, the water level in the school reached more than 50 centimetres and school equipment on the first floor was all underwater,” recalled Yang Pu, headmaster of Tai Ping Primary School, Chengguan Township, Hanyin.
In Sangyuan Township, Xixiang, more than 900 students were in class when the rains came and caused flooding up to 80 centimetres within minutes, according to local news reports.
“Lots of roads, bridges and riverbanks were damaged," said Ms Zhang Hongyu, chairperson of the Hanyin County Women’s Federation. Among the damage was the pedestrian bridge in Wuyi Village, Hanyin, which is used by more than 11,000 people every day, including 1,200 children going to and from school. Plan and local partners will reconstruct the bridge. Without it students will have to walk at least an hour longer to get to class.
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Founded 75 years ago, Plan is one of the oldest and largest children's development organisations in the world. We work in 50 developing countries across Africa, Asia and the Americas to promote child rights and lift millions of children out of poverty. Plan is independent, with no religious, political or governmental affiliations. www.plan-international.org