Kerala, a state on the southern coast of India, faced unprecedented flooding in the month of August 2018 due to unusually high rainfall during the monsoon season. Hundreds of people died; hundreds of thousands were displaced. According to the Kerala government, one-sixth of the total population of the state was directly affected by the floods and related incidents.
In the aftermath of the calamity, the Aga Khan Agency for Habitat India (AKAH) deployed its Disaster Assessment and Response Team (DART) in the days immediately following the flooding. The team conducted its assessment in two badly-affected districts, Ernakulam and Alappuzha. They found that large numbers of people living in relief camps faced a significant shortage of non-food items necessary for personal and environmental health and hygiene. They also found that people returning to their villages came back to homes filled with slush and muck, toilets that were destroyed, and contaminated wells. The DART report made it clear that health and hygiene would be a major concern going forward.
AKAH mobilised 51 tonnes of non-food relief material through community appeals, amounting to 5,148 relief kits, each having a monetary value of Rs. 3065 (approximately USD 45). The kits were sorted and packed by volunteers led by AKAH personnel and transported to Kerala by rail free of cost by Indian Railways. The relief kits were then transported to flood-affected villages in Ernakulam, Idukki, Alappuzha, Wayanad and Trissur districts.
“The Aga Khan Agency for Habitat is among the non-governmental organisations that have provided the largest quantity of NFI (Non-Food Item) relief materials for flood affected people in Kerala,” said Mr. K Mohammed Y Safirulla, IAS, Collector and District Magistrate of Ernakulam. “We acknowledge and highly appreciate the support of AKAH.”