Caritas India responds to India’s monsoon fury

Father Paul Moonjely

By Matters India Reporter

New Delhi, August 17, 2019: Caritas India, the social service arm of the Catholic Church, collaborates with state governments and NGOs to bring succor to millions of people affected the erratic monsoon with heavy rains.

“We are coordinating with the state governments and disaster response agencies to assess the situation,” said Father Paul Moonjely, executive director of Caritas India. Caritas team along with their partner organizations in the affected states is assessing the needs of the local communities and helping the Social Development Diocesan Partners in planning the relief operations, the priest added.

The states affected by the rains are Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Gujarat Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Odisha and Tamil Nadu.

So far, more than 370 people have died in flood-related incidents. The death toll may continue to rise, with more than 4,721,349 people displaced across thousands of relief camps in these states.

Caritas India is providing emergency assistance to 10,000 families in Kolhapur and Sangli of Maharasthra; Kasaragod, Wayanad, Malappuram, and Kannur of Kerala; Nilgiri of Tamil Nadu; Belgaum and Karwar of Karnataka; Eluru and Vizag of Andhra Pradesh with Food, Water, Non Food Essentials, Sanitation, Hygiene, (WaSH) and Shelter.

“A Solidarity Appeal is issued by His Eminence Cardinal Oswald Gracias, President of Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India to all the dioceses in India to generate support for the victims of Floods and Landslide,” Father Moonjely said.

In Assam, Caritas India has supported 5500 families with Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Kits in 5 districts and 63 villages, spread across 3 dioceses. Under the flood recovery project, Caritas India will be supporting 547 households and 2,490 population under 10 villages of Dhemaji district of Assam. The project has started from August.

In Bihar flood, the needs assessment was conducted in 4 districts with partner Diocese and volunteers followed by the process of the relief distribution to 1807 families. In all the nine-target villages, relief distribution is complete with WASH orientation.

Pune, Satara, Sangli, Kolhapur and Solapur Districts of Maharashtra are affected by the floods displacing 4 lakh people. Caritas India has started the need assessment in Kohlapur and Sangli to collect information and identify the most affected villages. Currently, the focus is on 8-10 worst affected villages from each district to start the response. Sangli Mission Society in Sangli and Sindhudurg Diocese Development Society in Kolhapur is conducting the needs assessment. Relief food kits were distributed by the Sangli Mission Society in Miraj Town to the affected people.

In Andhra Pradesh, local partners are deployed to collect information from the field and identify immediate needs of the vulnerable Households of East Godavari and West Godavari districts covering 7 and 1 Mandal respectively. Caritas India plans to target 26 villages in East Godavari and 11 villages in West Godavari mainly of Tribal belt for its response.

Caritas India in Tamil Nadu is working through its partner dioceses to carry out the response mechanisms. The Udhagamandalam Social Service Societies (USSS) is spearheading the work. USSS along with Makkal Mandram mobilized resources like blankets and clothes. Kurusadi and Fingerpost Parishes and St. Theresa School joined with USSS in providing food, sweaters and other warm clothes, towels, WaSH. District Collector of Nilgiris requested the contribution of Caritas India in terms of sharing expertise and models on construction temporary shelter in hills.

Around 700,000 people were displaced in the state of Karnataka due to floods. Caritas India is working with 5 partners in 9 out of 17 affected districts of Karnataka. The major work is being carried out by Caritas India and its partners in needs assessments at the partner level.

Partners are providing initial relief support in terms of cooked food, medical supports, warm clothes and blankets to the floods affected populations.

Almost after one year, Kerala is once again hit by the devastating floods. Caritas India along with its partners are doing rapid needs assessment of the most affected villages. The need assessment of Wayanad and Idukki districts is completed. Caritas India is also trying to reach Malappuram district for need assessment which was inaccessible due to heavy flood.

Assistant Director of Caritas India, Fr. Jolly is visiting the flood-affected areas to assess the damage and generate support from the partners and Church leadership in responding to this calamity. He had visited the Relief camp in Kavalapara and paid his condolences to the affected victims of the floods.

Caritas Samaritans, the volunteer team of Caritas India are engaged in humanitarian response at the ground zero with our partners. Caritas India appeals to faithful, institutions congregation and people of goodwill to contribute generously to this humanitarian call and express the solidarity at this crucial moment.


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