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Caritas India emergency team travel by boat in areas flooded in Odisha. Credit: Caritas India

Caritas India emergency team travel by boat in areas flooded in Odisha. Credit: Caritas India

Caritas Internationalis has launched an emergency appeal for €768,796 to help people hit by floods in the state of Odisha.

Heavy rains since late July and subsequent flooding have affected over 3.5 million people and left almost 50 people dead.

“Millions of people have been displaced and many have been marooned, with their houses and all their basic belongings completely submerged by water,” said Thangsha Sebastian from Caritas India. “They have no idea what the coming days hold for them.”

Beyond the direct impact on people’s lives, the floods have ruined the crops on hundreds of thousands of hectares of farming land and killed livestock. This will have a long-term impact on the food supply and on the employment possibilities of people in agriculture.

Caritas’s eight-month emergency programme will provide help to over 47,000 in Odisha to help them overcome the effects of the floods.

Houses will be repaired or accommodation will be provided for families who lost their homes in the floods. Health and hygiene will be improved through the creation of water treatment plants and the repair of wells and hand pumps. Women and girls will be given sanitation kits.

Training in farming techniques will be given to women and men along with tools, seeds and livestock to improve their future financial stability.
Information and training will also be given to communities on how to reduce the effects of future disasters on their villages.

Caritas India along with local partners have been helping people in the hardest-hit districts of Jajpur, Cuttack, Bhadrak and Kendrapara ever since the floods struck. They have provided tarpaulins for shelter, mats, rice, candles and matches to families who have been caught up in the emergency.