Kerala Flood Relief 2018
Rapid Spot Assessment
23rd August 2018: Following series of communications, interactions and going through secondary information and meetings, the decision was made to do a spot visit, against all the hesitation and confusions over State’s capacity to respond to and cope with the situation.
DMMU formed a Rapid Spot Assessment (RSA) team with – Shem Raomai, Peniel Malakar, Thomas Kurien, Dr. George Clarence and Merin Thomas. The first team with Shem and Thomas Kurien arrived Kerala on 23rd August 2018. The team initially based at Ernakulum and visited 2 relief camps (UC College & Mar Gregorious School) and 6 villages namely – AC Colony, Pandanad, Muttar 5 & Muttar 6, Vizharapara, Poovam, Aluva, Paravoor in the borders of Ernakulum, Aleppuzha, Kottyam and Pathanamthitta districts.
One other major task was to find a suitable local partner. Initial communication with CARD (Christian Agency for Rural Development) eventually led to meet the Metropolitan (Head) of the Marthoma Church of India (MCI) HQ at Thiruvalla, who endorsed the CARD-EHA partnership.
Thiruvalla being the central location of most of the villages identified, and the CARD HQ being in the same location, the team finalized its base at Thiruvalla.
29th August 2018: Mr. Peniel Malakar, Dr. George Clarence and Ms. Merin Thomas joined the RSA team at Thiruvalla and visited Nakra and Veliyanad villages along with CARD staff.
The day began with a meeting with leaders from Evangelical Church. The EC is open for partnership with EHA for not just relief, but also for a long term Rehabilitation and DRR program.
Later we met the Director, CARD led by Mr. Peniel, who explained in details the common understanding areas, finance and procurement protocols etc. The meeting was attended by several senior leaders who suggested the potential recovery program and long term DRR program with CARD.
A partnership agreement/MoU was developed with CARD (a social wing of Marthoma Church of India) due to their continued interest and presence in areas we have initially assessed. CARD also cooperated and supported the EHA team right from the beginning assisting in connecting to villages for RSA.
The RSA also include d need for health and possible outbreak of diseases. Dr. George Clarence was greatly helpful in understanding the need and help decide action that is apt, at the moment. Lack of safe drinking water was a common problem and challenges. Additionally, Kottanadu areas are still submerged by the flood water. These villages require genuine recovery initiative and DRR.
Provision of water tanks in several villages is essential for safe drinking water and bleaching powder to prevent any possible outbreak of diseases. There are already reports on outbreak of leptospirosis in flood-ravaged areas.
Following this, under Health, we have kept a provision for outbreak prevention materials in the relief package.
The RSA team also visited to Idukku hill and Padanand areas on 31st August and 1st September, to explore possible areas of response in case of additional resources available.
Following these visits, the team could finally come to a clear decision on areas for response and relief packages, and hence, the RSA activity was wrapped up. Ms. Merin Thomas and Dr. George Clarence returned to the Units. We are thankful for their assistance. Rev. Kabi Gangmei, Director of APBAID also visited along with the second RSA team from 29th August till 1st September 2018 and added valuable inputs to our discussions that helped crystallizing the relief operation plan. We really appreciate him and APBAID for this contribution. We deeply hope that APBAID would be able to bring in meaningful amount of financial resources as well for enhanced response activity in the flood-devastated villages.
Flood-ravaged Kerala has seen a spurt in communicable diseases, as the administration struggles to prevent and contain them with a debilitated healthcare system. In August alone, the state government’s Integrated Disease Surveillance Project recorded 171 cases of leptospirosis with four deaths, against 46 cases with six deaths last August. Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease transmitted mainly through water or soil contaminated by the urine of infected animals. Source: LiveMint.
Beneficiary villages identified
The beneficiary villages were identified based on the villages affected heavily, their being low income group and there is no sign of other agencies responding.
(In the pic form)
House Hold Survey (HHS)
The team has begun the HHS survey on 2nd September following a brief sensitization and training of volunteers on 1st September 2018. The following volunteers –
Fibin; Robin; Prateep; Dinesh; Mihir; Githiyon; Chris; Rony; Salmon; Shamsydhin, Aswin; Rinju; Vivek; Adarsh; Ashly; Abin; George; Darwin.
Mr. Roshin Sam, an ex-EHA staff was identified as volunteer to cover HHS and Distribution activities as Community Coordinator.
The procurement process started with Mr. Sajji T. Cherian, a senior level staff of CARD was identified to work on Procurement and Logistics as a volunteer, for the entire program.
We are expecting that the quotations would reach in a few days time.
Village Relief Committees
All the beneficiary villages, as per EHA’s ERF, shall have a Village Relief Committee for allowing transparent relief program. This also ensures smooth implementation of the program.
Relief operation management
EHA has its Emergency Response Framework (ERF) and the in built mechanism for managing disaster emergency response programs. As per the ERF and depending on the degree of response activities, the following Relief Management format has been developed.
Simplified relief Organogram
(In the pic form)
Timeline: at a glance
Pre-23rd August: Discussions and exploring for resources. Some funds committed by 22nd August.
23rd August: First Rapid Spot Assessment team left for Kerala.
29th August: Second team joined the RSA team. Partnership with CARD finalized.
1st September: Assessment wrapped up after visiting more than 15 villages across 5 districts.
2nd September: Relief operation plan finalized with villages identified, volunteers recruited, HH Survey began.
3rd September to 15th September: HH survey to complete. Relief distribution should be done. Team leaves for Delhi.
In case of extended resources available, the phase 2 would begin thereafter.
The need is great in terms of post flood recovery and rehabilitation efforts – restoration of drinking water source/open wells, essential family kits, restitution of essential furniture (cots/beds), reconstruction of houses and in some cases re-building houses according to location, loss of livestock, loss of agricultural land due to massive landslides (more than thousand landslides in record days), livelihoods as well as psychosocial care etc.
Beyond this point, we are proactively exploring for Disaster Risk Reduction programs in areas with likelihood of repeat floods.
Peniel Malakar. On behalf of the TEAM – KFR18
Relief Base office: CARD office, Thiruvalla. Kerala