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Everything you need to know about Oxfam India’s response to Assam Floods 2017
Assam witnesses perennial flooding bringing life to a standstill for lakhs of people. Homes are washed away, major road lines are shut and sources of livelihood destroyed.
Last year, the state witnessed the worst flooding in 29 years. At the onset of the emergency, Oxfam’s team responded within 24 hours in the most affected districts of Karimganj, Lakhimpur, Dhubri and South Salmara with emergency shelter and hygiene kits. Oxfam India provided support to the most affected communities specially focussing on women, pregnant and lactating women, elderly, disabled, who had lost their house or crops during the floods.
Responding on priority
Our immediate response reached out to 8,200 households with shelter kits to protect the affected from extreme weather condition and hygiene and wash items to reduce the burden of any health risks.
Stagnant water poses a risk of creating an epidemic of water-borne diseases. The humanitarian team was tasked with repairing and filtering close to 538 water sources to ensure availability of safe, portable drinking water. 68 water sources were also installed that included raised hand pumps, dug wells to ensure availability of water sources in the community. 123 sanitation facilities including gender segregated toilets, community toilets and temporary toilets were constructed to ensure access to improved sanitation facilities.
Building resilience in communities
Oxfam initiated its resilience building workshops in 16 villages of Karimganj district with a focus on creating community assets and the capacities of the communities to be prepared for future floods or disasters. This programme was aptly named, “Build Back Better”.
Ensuring food security and building livelihood
300 of the most affected households were provided with unconditional cash transfer to ensure that they are able to cope up with the negative impact of the flood and have food security and alternative livelihood options. Meanwhile, 400 of the most vulnerable families were provided Cash for Work (CFW) to restore livelihood and meet household expenses. More than 50% of the beneficiaries were women in the Cash For Work initiative. Kitchen gardens were also set up to support 210 families to ensure food security through backyard and flood resilient farming. 100 families were provided with commonly used tool for fishing and agriculture to boost their source of income.
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