IsraAID team provides relief in flood-ravaged Kerala

IsraAID’s team has been distributing vital relief items to survivors returning to their homes in Kerala

IsraAID’s emergency response team in Kerala has been providing humanitarian aid for survivors of the worst flooding the southern Indian state has seen in a century. IsraAID’s team, including a project manager, an engineer, and a relief specialist from IsraAID’s office in Nepal, has been distributing vital non-food items and assisting community members as they begin to clean up their homes.

On Friday, the team arrived in the town of Chengannur in the Alappuzha district of Kerala, one of the areas worst affected by the devastating flooding. IsraAID’s emergency response team has been collaborating in Chengannur with volunteers from the local NGO Art of Living and members of the local community. Members of the local community have now begun returning to their homes from emergency relief camps. The floods have caused widespread destruction of homes and infrastructure, including household water sources.

IsraAID’s team is distributing 450 relief kits, including hygiene and cleaning items, soap, hand sanitizer, and water purification sachets.

Shira Goldstein, head of IsraAID’s emergency response team, shared her initial impressions of the situation on-the-ground: “In the worst-affected areas, the water rose above the rooftops and treetops, leaving utter devastation in its wake. The kind of damage these communities are facing is total. Everything is rendered useless, whether it be electronics fried with the inundation of water or furniture soaked through. Many of the roads are inaccessible by car and must be trudged through on foot, fighting the mud with each step. It will be a long road to recovery for these families.

Volunteers from around southern Indian have rushed to Kerala, foregoing the celebrations of a major holiday. From unloading trucks of rice with lightning speed, to working tirelessly for hours cleaning out mud-caked houses, the network of volunteers is impressive. Even with this incredible home-grown movement, Kerala is still in need of specialized professional support in the form of WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) expertise to clean out the wells, psychosocial support for those traumatized by losing their loved ones and homes, and comprehensive rehabilitation for those rebuilding their lives.”

IsraAID is planning to stay in Kerala during the recovery process, utilizing the organization’s WASH experts to provide access to safe water and psychosocial support specialists to help build community resilience.

IsraAID is a leading international humanitarian NGO, based in Israel. Since 2001, IsraAID has become synonymous with a rapid response to humanitarian crises. Its medical teams, search & rescue units, post-trauma experts, community specialists and other professionals have led international responses to disasters and civil strife around the world. After the initial emergency period, IsraAID shifts to long-term programs, accompanying communities and governments as they strive to build a better tomorrow. As of 2018, IsraAID has responded to crises in 47 countries, and has programs in 17 countries.