December 11, 2015
India’s fourth largest and most populous city, Chennai, is facing the worst floods in over hundred years. More than 300 people have died in the torrential downpour caused by deep depression in the Bay of Bengal. The flooding has forced more than 200,000 people to abandon their homes and over 3 million people have been affected.
The capital city of Chennai has been particularly hard-hit, receiving its highest ever rainfall recorded in November in over a century. Release of water from a brimming reservoir has further swamped the low lying areas of Chennai city.
Besides Chennai, the worst affected districts include: Cuddalore, Kanchipuram, Thiruvalu, and Thanjavur, where entire villages have been marooned and totally inundated. There are currently 97 relief camps in Chennai city and 215 in Kanchipuram district. The neighbouring state of Andhra Pradesh where 54 persons have died, and union territory Puducherry where nearly 400 houses have suffered damage, have also been affected by the disaster. Road, rail and air transport have all been affected in Tamil Nadu. Over 2 million people have been affected by the disaster, which has caused damages and losses amounting to over `20000 crore (US$3 billion).
Oxfam is responding to the humanitarian needs of flood affected people in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. Oxfam will assist the flood ravaged communities with lifesaving water, sanitation and hygiene facilities, emergency shelter materials to protect them from elements of weather, and cash assistance to the most vulnerable families. Thousands of people need humanitarian assistance—both in urban and rural areas of Tamil Nadu. Responding to the crisis now and for the next six months with local NGO partners, remains an Oxfam priority.
- 2200 households from Chennai slums, and villages from Cuddalore and Kanchipuram districts received 60 Chlorine tablets each, ensuring immediate access to safe drinking water for a month after the floods.
- So far, we have completed debris cleaning in 5 villages as well as in one of the worst affected and severely congested slum in Chennai, Koyambude slum.
- We have reached out 800 households with Hygiene Kits. Oxfam has also been doing intensive hygiene promotion work with our trained volunteers in the areas of handwashing and safe sanitation.
- We have reached out to 2961 Households already with Emergency Shelter and NFI Kits containing tarpaulin sheet, groundsheet, fleece blanket, bedsheets, mosquito net and kitchen utensils to the most affected communities. These will help in protecting them from the mosquitoes and elements of weather.
- We have also distributed smokeless chulhas to 1900 households. Many homes lost their chulhas which were made of mud during the floods. Our smokeless chulhas are not only a more fuel-efficient option, they will not cause respiratory problems like the previous ones they were using!
How you can help
Oxfam is aiming to reach 8,000 families or approximately 48,000 flood affected people in Tamil Nadu & Andhra Pradesh. You can help us provide shelter, health promotion, water, sanitation and latrines, blankets and solar lamps and cash transfers. Click below to donate: