‘It became like Noah's time when floods destroyed all.’
Aid agencies have been stepping up efforts in the flood-stricken Indian state of Kerala
Though rains have mostly subsided, an unknown number of people are still stranded or without food and water, and resources at packed relief camps have been stretched. More than 300 have died as a result of the flooding, and “thousands remain marooned,” according to BBC News.
GFA (Gospel for Asia) World-supported teams have used boats to search for and rescue some of the missing, and visited relief camps to deliver urgently needed supplies, including medicines, food, water and toiletries. Workers at GFA World-supported Bridge of Hope centres have also been distributing supplies.
Dr. Daniel Johnson, the leader of GFA World’s-supported medical ministry which has been helping with the relief effort, told how he and the rescue team he was part of had to spend the night in the upper floor of a flooded home because they were unable to return to their base in the dark.
One man who joined with GFA World-supported workers spoke of working for eight hours to save his mother-in-law and some of her neighbours.
‘We were all in neck-deep or chest-deep flood waters,’ he said. ‘It became like Noah's time when floods destroyed all.’ Eventually, by ‘God's grace,’ they were able to get to safety.
GFA World founder, Dr. K.P. Yohannan, who visited relief camps to help with the distributions said, 'Even as the immediate crisis ends, the need for help will continue for a long time. Tens of thousands have been affected by the monsoon, and it will take years before any of them have any normal life, because they have lost everything.'
Yohannan appealed for continued prayer and support for those in ‘desperate need’ in the region.
‘This flooding has devastated crops and completely ruined homes,’ he said. ‘It will take the helping hands of many around the world for the people of Kerala to get their feet back on dry ground.’
Donations to support GFA World’s disaster relief work in Kerala can be made at www.gfauk.org/flood.
Image | GFA instagram
Christian Aid is launching an emergency appeal for those impacted by Kerala’s deadly floods, having responded with life-saving assistance for around 20,000 people who have lost their homes.
The appeal will help the charity target some of the southern Indian state’s poorest and most vulnerable villages. Households will receive assistance with safe drinking water, sanitation supplies, hygiene essentials such as soap, and shelter materials including tarpaulin, rope and blankets.
The aid will help people survive the shocking devastation that has claimed the lives of some 350 people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee their homes.
Ram Kishan, Christian Aid’s Regional Emergency Manager, said, ‘What I have seen and been hearing here is on a scale not seen for a hundred years. Christian Aid’s appeal for support is needed to help us provide clean water, shelter and emergency food supplies and more important livelihood support for people who have been forced to flee their homes.’
Christian Aid’s Emergency Programme Officer Shivani Rana, who is in Kerala, said for people that have lost everything it will be a tough task rebuilding their livelihoods: ‘Many people are currently sheltering in camps and one major worry is how they’re going to recover their lives when they try to go home. For some families, everything they had has been washed away or ruined.’
Christian Aid’s relief work in Kerala has been kick-started with a £77,000 grant from the UK government-backed Start Fund, which releases money quickly after disasters, to enable rapid responses.
The charity has also released some of its own funds and hopes to scale up its emergency response, working through its local partners in the region.
People can donate to the Christian Aid Kerala Floods Appeal by visiting www.caid.org.uk/kerala.