Help Caritas Help Kerala

More than 400 people have perished and an estimated one million have lost their homes as India’s southern state, Kerala, continues to battle the worst monsoon flooding the region has seen in more than a century.

In an effort to help those families most affected by the flooding, Caritas Australia is collecting donations on their website. Caritas’ sister agencies, Caritas India and Catholic Relief Services are already on the ground working to provide those who have been affected by the flooding with basic household supplies as well as shelter and hygiene kits. Emergency water and sanitation activities are also being developed to reduce the potential for the outbreak of disease.

According to The Atlantic: “Aid agencies and government groups have set up more than 4,000 relief camps, while rescue personnel are making their way to submerged villages in helicopters and boats, bringing supplies, and evacuating those they find.”

As the BBC reports: “As the monsoon rains begin to ease, efforts are being stepped up to get relief supplies to isolated areas.”

In another article, the BBC reports: “The state should have been prepared for this - just a month earlier, a government report had warned that Kerala was the worst performer among southern Indian states in the effective management of water resources.

“With 42 points, it was ranked number 12. The top three states were Gujarat in the west, Madhya Pradesh in the centre and Andhra Pradesh in the south, with scores of 79, 69 and 68 respectively.”

The BBC’s article goes on to suggest the flooding wouldn’t have been so severe if officials had been quicker to open the 30 dams surrounding the region which have 44 rivers flowing into the area.

“This could have been avoided if the dam operators had started releasing water in advance rather than waiting for dams to be filled up, when they have no alternative but to release water,” Himanshu Thakkar, a water expert at the South asia Network of Dams, Rivers and People, told the BBC.

Instead, it wasn’t until rain began to abate that water from more than 80 dams was released.

“It is clear that major dams in the state - like Idukki and Idamalayar - only released water when Kerala was in the throes of heavy flooding, which actually proved to add further misery to the situation,” Mr Thakkar went on to tell the BBC.

With relief efforts just getting underway, Caritas is asking for donations to help with the Asia Emergency Appeal. To donate, click here.

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