Sunday, August 20, 2006

Flood posts

Still in the works.

For some reason I couldn't get pictures to load, but Nirali has them up on her blog here (these are from Wednesday)

Here is the situation:

In the last week the state of Gujarat in India has seen one of its worst floods ever. On Saturday (Aug 12th), more than 11,00,000 cusecs of water was released into the Sabarmati River.

The cities of Surat and more than 300 villages around Anand and Vadodara have been majorly flooded.

The Sabarmati River had flooded due to heavy rains and pushed water into the lower lying areas of Ahmedabad. As a result, hundreds of homes in the Tekra (slums) were left completely submerged in the floodwater. Many have lost their homes, all their belongings and means of livelihood. They have been left vulnerable to illnesses and without access to proper food, medicines and shelter.

On Saturday morning, we were ready to move from relief work to rehabilitation, when once again a high alert was sounded in low-lying areas of Ahmedabad and Panchmahal districts following torrential rainfall in certain high-level regions from where the water is flowing into the Sabarmati River.

More than 40,000 people were evacuated from areas along the river since late Friday night. Last night (Saturday), flood levels reached the highest yet. After receding during the day, more water was released from the dam due to heavy rainfall upstream and currently the water levels are rising yet again.

For those familiar with MS, water reached Barot and Mukesh's house and the steps to Kiran's home on Saturday night. Approx 400 people at currently living in the community center and MS is working to assist 700 people in Hanumanpura, Parikshit Nagar and the area surrounding the community center.

This third round of flooding (Sunday, Wednesday, yesterday/today) has been very damaging on physical property and health. Thurs-Friday, families work endlessly cleaning their homes and working to get their lives back in order. They were physically very very tired by the time the floods came on Friday night/Saturday. The waters came rapidly, so the few possessions that were moved back, were not all taken out in the third round of floods. This third round of floodwaters also have been around the longest and have yet to go down more than 36 hours later.

More on the flood work later. Right now, its long hours and work/sleep when I get home so posting is on hold.

Nirali has a great post on her experiences that includes stories of different people living in the tekra.

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