18 JUL 2012
Oxfam responds to the floods in Guizhou and Shaanxi
Oxfam Hong Kong will deliver relief supplies to meet the immediate needs of the residents severely affected by the recent floods in the impoverished provinces of Shaanxi and Guizhou after an onsite assessment. The flooding triggered by torrential rain across China has affected over 10 million people and left 650,000 in emergency evacuation, with hundreds of thousands of houses and crop fields damaged.
In the previous flooding in late June, Oxfam supported 3,000 poor people living in Jiangdong Village, Tianzhu County of Guizhou Province with rice, quilts, cooking utensils, hygiene kits and tarpaulins for temporary shelters, which amount to HK$530,000. Guizhou is one of the poorest provinces in China. The average annual net income of farmers ranks the second lowest nationwide.
Rain-triggered floods since July have hit hard the provinces of Sichuan, Shaanxi, Shandong, Henan, Guizhou and Chongqing. Over 100,000 houses collapsed and 440,000 hectares of farmland were damaged, hence affecting survivors’ livelihoods seriously. Infrastructure such as roads and water supply was also damaged to different extents..
Shaanxi is also one of the poorest provinces in China where farmers rank the sixth lowest in terms of average annual net income among all other provinces. Continuous rainfall across nine cities including Hanzhong, Ankang and Weinan has affected over 850,000 people; close to 140,000 people were urgently evacuated. Last week, Oxfam’s local partner arrived in Nanzheng County, one of the worst hit areas, to assess the needs of the community and develop a response plan with Oxfam.
“The local residents are in urgent need of quilts, rice, cooking oil and other daily necessities,” said Howard Liu, Director of China Programme Unit of Oxfam Hong Kong. “Oxfam is working closely with partners, local authorities and the affected population to arrange rapid delivery of relief supplies within days to meet the immediate needs of the residents. Oxfam also plans to carry out public hygiene education in the affected areas.”
Besides, Oxfam also considers to provide essential water services to the affected communities to cope with their long term development.
“The recent flood involves a vast area in China, affecting a number of provinces and cities,” said Liu. “Oxfam decided to carry out emergency relief work in Guizhou and Shaanxi because the situation in these two poor provinces is serious and demands immediate attention. Oxfam will continue to monitor the situation of other provinces closely and may provide further assistance when necessary.”
The latest heavy rain in Guizhou has affected over 1.6 million people. Oxfam and local partners will set off to the severely-hit Pingtang County of Qiannan Prefecture this afternoon (18 July) for assessment in order to respond to residents’ needs.
Oxfam Hong Kong started its rural livelihoods and emergency relief projects in Guizhou and Shaanxi in the 1980s and 1990s respectively, at the same time promoting civil society development. In recent years, Oxfam and local partners have been involved in relief and rehabilitation projects in Shaanxi and other provinces which were seriously affected by the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake, as well as emergency relief efforts for the floods in Shaanxi and Guizhou.