Banner image: CEDAR Fund’s Indian partner EFICOR provides food and non-food aid to flood-affected families in Kerala (Photo credit: EFICOR, 27th August, 2018)
“This is a wonderful moment as this act of love is a great and timely support for my family to survive for one month… It is a god-given comfort for my family.” Indu, resident of Kerala in southern India, says.
Last month, Kerala suffered the worst floods in a hundred years. Indu is still reeling from fear. The floods took away all her belongings and destroyed her house. Indu and her family temporarily stayed in a relief camp. Since her husband has been living with kidney disease, Indu could not imagine when their house could be rebuilt and when her sons could continue school.
Thanks to the assistance of CEDAR’s partner EFICOR*, an Indian national Christian organisation with decades of experience in disaster relief and poverty alleviation, Indu is able to feed her family and maintain basic cleanliness and hygiene. In Kerala, more than 1 million people lost their homes due to the floods. As flood waters recede, residents gradually return to their respective villages, while others remain in relief camps or houses of relatives and friends.
For flood victims, there is a pressing need for assistance to survive the distress and rebuild their homes. In addition, they are worrying about an outbreak of infectious waterborne diseases.
According to the report of Aljazeera on 4th September, since the aftermath of floods in Kerala state, at least 34 people in Kerala have suspected of dying from leptospirosis or “rat fever.” It is a communicable disease between animals and humans. In Kerala’s case, the host of bacteria is primarily rats. Carcasses of rats infected with leptospirosis contaminated the flood waters, spreading the disease quickly to humans. Leptospirosis symptoms include high fever, severe abdominal and muscle pain, and vomiting. According to the official of the Kerala’s Ministry of Health, nearly 200 confirmed cases have been reported in the past 17 days alone.
Post-disaster reconstruction and preventing outbreak of diseases are of great urgency at the moment. The Indian government announced earlier that it will provide US$84.6 million in assistance to Kerala. It is expected that reconstruction costs of Kerala is as high as US$3.7 billion.
To assist people in Kerala, CEDAR Fund has allocated US$10,008 from the organisation’s “Emergency Relief and Disaster Preparedness Fund” to support EFICOR’s flood relief effort, which will provide help to 155 flood-stricken families through cash transfer.** Since flooding occurred, EFICOR has provided food, such as rice, oil, sugar, green gram, and coriander powder, as well as non-food aid like bath soaps, washing powder, toothpaste, and antiseptic to 124 families.
Let us continue to pray for the flood-affected people and EFICOR
May our Heavenly Father continue to look after the victims of Kerala floods, including Indu’s family and those who lost their homes, and protect the local anti-epidemic measures. May Lord bless and keep EFICOR co-workers and volunteers. As flood waters recede, it is time for post-disaster relief and reconstruction. We are aware that the EFICOR team has identified families in need in at least 10 villages. We pray that more volunteers can join in surveying and distribution of aid materials. We hear from EFICOR that churches, educational institutions and individuals in India and abroad have generously extended their support to the victims. We are grateful for this. Pray for our weakness, so that we are not looking to our own interests but to the interests of others and that we can stand with the least of our brothers and sisters. We sincerely pray in the name of the Lord, Amen.
*The full name of EFICOR is The Evangelical Fellowship of India Commission on Relief.