//Dalits and tribal people amongst worst hit by Indian floods

Dalits and tribal people amongst worst hit by Indian floods

With many communities still cut off following torrential rain at the beginning of August, ActionAid is providing relief supplies and medicines to victims of the Indian floods, as well as helping to evacuate those still in danger.

The floods have devastated central India bringing misery to millions of people. Four hundred people are confirmed dead, but relief organisations fear that the final figure will run into thousands.

Jagat Patnaik, ActionAid India’s flood response programme manager said: “The situation is desperate. Whilst quick action by communities and rescue services has saved many lives, there is still great danger in the days to come.

“Millions of people have lost their homes and belongings. They are vulnerable to disease and in desperate need of relief supplies and clean water. We are paying special attention to dalit and tribal communities who are often overlooked in emergencies.”

In Gujarat

The rains are finally receding but many rural areas are still submerged. The city of Surat has been devastated. Water released from overflowing dams without warning has flooded the villages of dalits and tribal people.

As well as helping with the evacuation, ActionAid and its partners are providing meals for 5,000 people in temporary shelters. The organisation is working with local government to ensure proper sanitation and safe drinking water for evacuees.

In Andhra Pradesh

Over three million people in Andhra Pradesh have been affected; 1.3m of whom are living in shelters. 350 villages are still marooned. ActionAid and partners are working in seven slums helping pump out water and providing 1,000 families with clean water, bread and milk. 3,700 people have been given rice and water purification tablets.

In Maharashtra

Four districts have been severely affected. In Nanded, 3,798 families are in desperate need of relief supplies. Around 158 villages are inaccessible and 68 partially marooned. ActionAid is providing 15,000 people in the region with immediate relief, and helping people to legally document the damage they have suffered.

In Orissa

The Makangiri district has been flooded by water from the Kolab dam. ActionAid is providing relief and support to the marooned tribal villages and giving relief supplies to 2,203 families, with a special focus on infants, the elderly and pregnant women. The organisation is transporting grain to areas without supplies and supporting the delivery of first aid medicines to affected areas.

In the long term

ActionAid is committed to helping victims of the floods get back on their feet, by helping people to claim compensation and supporting efforts to rebuild homes and businesses. The organisation is also championing the rights of dalits and tribal communities, who are often the last to receive help in times of emergency.

“Since the floods last year, communities have become much more organised. However, the government is still unable to meet relief needs. Better disaster preparedness and prevention measures are urgently needed to ensure this cycle of misery does not repeat year after year,” added Patnaik.