July 6, 2012 – The situation in Assam has worsened over the last few days, with almost 2.5 million people now affected by further rains and extensive flooding of the Brahmaputra River. The death toll stands at 104 with a further 15 people missing. Almost 90 percent of Assam is under water. The floods have been described as the worst since 1998.
India’s National Disaster Response Force has been deployed to 16 areas and is conducting rescue operations in nine districts. Seven teams of army personnel have been deployed to Barpeta, Dhemaji, Dima-Hasao, Sibsagar, Sonitpur and Tinsukia districts. Other affected districts include Nowgong, Marigaon, Cachar, Kamrup, Sonitpur, Lakhimpur, Dibrugarh, Jorhat, Nalbari and Dhubri. 650 relief camps have been now set up for over 380,000 people.
The scale of massive devastation to infrastructure will take some time to assess. Major damage to highways, roads, railways and bridges is causing major problems for the movement of people and delaying the distribution of commodities for relief efforts.
World Vision has provided immediate assistance to over 400 families and 200 children have been moved to government schools set-up as relief camps. Power generators have also been provided to ensure the safety and protection of children, while “child-friendly spaces” have been set up for over 500 children. The distribution of relief kits containing dry rations, non-food items including tarpaulins, kitchen utensils and hygiene kits is expected to continue over the coming weeks.
The lack of clean drinking water and access to food has raised concerns about the potential spread of disease. World Vision is working with local partners and the government to minimise these risks. Water purification systems have been installed and discussions are underway to support the government’s food distribution.
Beyond the emergency phase, recovery will be slow. Families have lost their homes, crops and livelihoods. Children’s education and protection will be at risk until families are able to rebuild their homes and livelihoods, and schools are rebuilt and reopened. World Vision plans to provide not only relief to these families and children but also to support the recovery and rehabilitation of up to 150,000 people impacted from these devastating floods.
For further details contact:
Kunal Shah (HEA): +91 87545 94257
Relton Samuel (HEA): +91 94444 15401
Theodore Sam (Communications): +91 96771 33877