Floods in South India

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Updated 13 January 2016

Latest Situation

The heaviest rainfall in decades, aggravated by Tropical Cyclone Rovan, brought widespread flooding across the southern Indian states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and the union territory of Puducherry since the last week of November 2015.

Tamil Nadu has been particularly badly affected. Chennai, the capital city of the state witnessed the highest amount of rainfall ever recorded in November; other badly affected districts in Tamil Nadu include Cuddalore, Kanchipuram, Thiruvalu, and Thanjavur, where entire villages were submerged by the flood and villagers were marooned. It is estimated that the flooding has caused more than 300 deaths and affected over 3 million people.

Oxfam’s response in South India

Oxfam is aiming to reach 8,000 families or approximately 48,000 flood affected people in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh by providing support in water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and livelihood recovery.

Progress thus far and what Oxfam is doing:

  • Reached 2,200 households in the slums of Chennai; distributing 60 chlorine tablets to each village in Cuddalore and Kanchipuram districts to ensure immediate access to safe drinking water for a month after the floods.
  • Finished removing debris in five villages as well as in one of the worst affected and severely congested slums in Chennai: Koyambude slum.
  • Reached 2,961 households in the most affected communities with emergency shelter and non-food item kits, which contain tarpaulin sheets, groundsheets, fleece blankets, bed sheets, mosquito nets and kitchen utensils; these will help protect them from pests like mosquitoes and the elements.Distributed hygiene kits to 800 households; carrying out hygiene promotion work with our trained volunteers in the areas of hand-washing and safe sanitation.
  • Distributed smokeless chulhas to 1,900 households as many lost theirs, which were made of mud, during the floods. Our smokeless chulhas are not only a more fuel-efficient option, but also do not cause respiratory problems (unlike the ones they were using previously).
  • Installing latrines in Kanchipuram, Cuddalore and Chennai.
  • Offering cash transfers to the most vulnerable to buy tools for their livelihoods, such as farming and fishing equipment. Cash is given only on a need basis to the most vulnerable – female-headed households, households with a physically disabled member or a member with chronic illness, as well as elderly people with no other means of support.

Download our report: An Oxfam overview: a month into the picture (PDF)

Oxfam Hong Kong’s application for an emergency grant of HK$3,093,000 from the Disaster Relief Fund (DRF) Advisory Committee was approved by the HKSAR Government in December 2015. We aim to provide emergency relief materials to 2,500 households, or 15,000 vulnerable people, affected by the floods in badly affected areas. This includes 2,025 families in Cuddalore district (targeting Cuddalore block and Keerapalayam block) and 475 families in Kanchipuram district (targeting Padappai block and Kundrathur block in Sriperumbudur Administrative area) in Tamil Nadu, South India.

Relief items include:

Oxfam’s standard hygiene kit, household water filter, shelter materials and kitchen set for 2,500 families.

Expected outcomes include:

  1. Reduced risk of waterborne and water related diseases: Ensuring 500 households in Chennai city and 2,000 households in Cuddalore district have access to safe water and sanitation facilities.
  2. Ensured security and safe shelter for survivors: Ensuring 500 households in Chennai city and 2,000 households in Cuddalore district receive emergency shelter materials and non-food items.

29 December 2015

Oxfam is mainly responding to the floods in Tamil Nadu. Our priority is to prevent the spread of disease by providing clean water, toilet hygiene essentials, emergency shelter assistance and cash transfers to ensure immediate food security:

  • We are working in Cuddalore with our local partner; 750 households in Cuddalore and 300 households in Kanchipuram districts have received hygiene as well as dry food ration kits.
  • We have begun distributing food in Bhuvangiri, one of the worst affected blocks.
  • In Chennai, Oxfam has removed debris from Koyambude, one of the worst affected slums in the city. To ensure access to safe drinking water, chlorine tablets have been distributed in three slums: Annai Satya Nagar, Rajiv Gandhi Nagar and Shiva Shakti Nagar.
  • Essential relief materials such as tarpaulin and groundsheets for shelter, latrine slabs as well as hygiene kits are being distributed in Chennai, its suburbs and adjoining areas. Emergency shelter kits have also been distributed to 245 households in the Cuddalore district.
  • Oxfam has been meeting with its partners to decide on the further course of action and to prioritise the work that needs to be done so that the most urgent needs are met immediately.
  • A total of 2,000 tarpaulins, 2,000 groundsheets and 2,000 buckets have been transported to Oxfam’s warehouse in Cuddalore from Odisha. Oxfam will be providing 8,000 flood-affected families in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh  nearly 48,000 people  with support.