Caritas opens rebuilding phase in flood-hit Kerala

Bishop Monteiro with flood affected people


By Matters India Reporter

Kochi, Nov. 26, 2018: Caritas India chairperson Bishop Lumen Monteiro of Agartala has opened the rehabilitation phase of the Church agency’s aid programs among the flood-hit dioceses of Kerala.

Bishop Monteiro on November 19-22 met with bishops, social work directors and several families in Verapoly archdiocese and diocese of Idukki and Vijayapuram to assure the Church’s continued support to the flood-affected people of Kerala.

Caritas India led the protection sector assessment that was part of the larger Post Disaster Detailed Needs Assessment conducted by the Kerala unit of IAG/Sphere India. Simultaneously, the Kerala Social Service Forum (KSSF) with Caritas India support carried out a damage assessment at diocesan level and consolidated the data at the state level. The assessments helped the agency to prioritize needs in sectors such as shelter, livelihood, WaSH (water, sanitation and hygiene), psychosocial care and protection.

After a series of consultations at both the head office-level and the state-level, Caritas India decided to prioritize its recovery and rehabilitation interventions in Shelter, Livelihood and Wash. It will implement these interventions over a period of eight months, starting in November.

The recovery and rehabilitation will focus on improving the living conditions of the flood-affected families through adequate shelter repair support, improving access to safe drinking water and hygiene facilities and restoration livelihoods through conditional cash transfers and other alternative support.

Support was also extended from Caritas Internationalis with the deputation of technical advisers from the Shelter and Wash Technical Working Groups. The two advisers visited the flood affected areas of Idukki, Ernakulam, Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, and Thrissur to study and assess the situation and design strategies and approaches for intervention.

A writeshop was conducted as a followup with the diocesan social service directors and project coordinators to develop the recovery project proposals of all 32 KSSF members

Caritas India will be supporting 17,859 families in the areas of Wash, Shelter and Livelihood in the recovery phase across 12 districts with the help of 31 partners.

In WaSH, the interventions will address toilet construction, chlorination and disinfecting water sources, installation of water filters. Shelter will deal with conditional cash support for shelter repair while livelihood will focus on seed support, goatry, piggery, poultry, vegetable gardens, petty shops, plantations, sewing machine support for quick income generation.

Wash recovery interventions will support 2,625 families, the shelter interventions will help 856 families and livelihood interventions aid 14,378 families.

“Caritas India will reach the poorest of the poor, who are unable to recover from the shocks of the devastating floods on their own and therefore need external assistance,” says a press note from the agency.

To ensure the highest level of transparency and accountability, the recovery and rehabilitation program prioritizes community-led recovery and has designed the recovery phase programs in such a way that it allows maximum participation of the community in all its stages, it adds.

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