Palaces For The People
Tuesday, October 07, 2003
Reuters AlertNet - ACT Alert - Orissa Floods, India
Action by Churches Together (ACT) - Switzerland
India - 1/2003
Geneva, September 2003
Two depressions over the Bay of Bengal within a fortnight have resulted in continuous heavy rainfall for more than a week in the state of Orissa and adjoining areas of West Bengal, Jharkhand, and North Chatisgarh. This has resulted in all major rivers - Mahandi, Indravati and Brahmani and their tributaries rising above danger levels at many points and inundating vast areas of land and affecting families living near the flooded rivers.
There is a serious flood threat in the state – the districts so far affected are Kalahandi, Rayagada, Gajapati, Balangir, Sonepur, Baragarh, Koraput, Cuttack, Nayagarh, Jagatsinghapur, Ganjam, Angul, and Puri. The situation has been exacerbated by the opening of sluice gates in dams and barrages to release the excess water – the opening of gates in the Indravati and Hirakud reservoirs resulted in the flooding of several surrounding villages.
ACT members Churches Auxiliary for Social Action (CASA), the Lutheran World Service India (LWS-India) and the United Evangelical Church in India (UELCI) are on high alert and monitoring the situation.
UELCI has sent four assessment teams to visit the areas affected, meet with local authorities and distribute immediate relief in the form of packages of dry food using resources available from other appeals. They are planning to respond in the areas of Jagatsinghpur, Nayagarh, Dhenkenal and Koraput with the support of the ACT Alliance.
LWS has also been monitoring the situation and field staff and the community are on full alert in the areas where they are working: Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Jaipur, Puri in the coastal area and Balangir, Kalahandi and Sonepur in the north-west. LWS is in contact with the State Relief Commissioner and local authorities who report that the continuous rain has stopped and the flood water level is slowly receding in north-west Orissa. The government has taken measures to provide dry foods to the marooned people. Should the situation change for the worse, LWS-I teams will move into action and a request for support will be presented to the ACT Alliance.
CASA reports that the staff and disaster mitigation task forces in the districts of Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Cuttack and Khurda are on high alert to monitor and respond to the situation as it develops. People living in one of the more remote areas, fearing a rapid high level flooding, have already moved into two of CASA’s multi purpose shelters. The Orissa Mitigation Authority have sought CASA’s assistance in responding to the flooding and CASA is prepared to meet the food, shelter and clothing needs of 5,000 families. Should the situation worsen they will request support from the ACT Alliance.
Any funding indication or pledge should be communicated to Jessie Kgoroeadira, ACT Finance Officer (firstname.lastname@example.org). Thank you.
ACT is a worldwide network of churches and related agencies meeting human need through coordinated emergency response.
The ACT Coordinating Office is based with the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) in Switzerland.