A Family Fleeing the Water
“On August 14, my heart sank when I heard about the Kamla Balan river rising to the Rasiyari bridge. ‘Now,’ I thought, ‘we have no way left to help ourselves.’ Within 20 to 30 minutes, our house was flooded,” recalls Fulia Devi, from the village of Tulsipur, now living with her daughter and husband in a temporary emergency shelter on the roadside.
She is one of the thousands of people who were affected by the flooding in the Ghanshyampur block of the district of Darbhanga in northern Bihar in India. It was one of the worst floods in recent memory.
The Water was a Metre high in many Places
The water in their house was at least a metre high after the Kambla Bala river burst its banks and washed the dam away. Fulia Devi and her family had no other choice but to flee from the rising masses of water.
“I lost my house, grain, cattle feed and utensils. Our three goats disappeared. In addition, we have no drinking water because our well is contaminated,” says the 65-year-old. She adds that the family fled with only the things it could gather quickly. “Every family in our village tried to save what it could. We were able to take along some food and clothes and a few other things to meet our basic needs. That is all.”
Now that Fulia Devi’s house is no longer standing, she and all the other survivors are literally on the road. The food that they took along will not last long, however. “The local authorities provided a few chura (rice flakes) and a small tarp. But considering the fact that we will only be able to return home in a month or so, we will need more,” she says.
Welthungerhilfe Distributes Emergency Aid Sets to Affected Families
The latest flooding affected almost 17 million people in 19 districts in Bihar, with 480 people losing their lives. In the district of Darbhanga, over 2 million people were affected.
In conjunction with its partner Ghoghardiha Prakhand Swarajya Vikas Sangh (GPSVS), Welthungerhilfe is helping people in two greatly-impacted villages in the district of Darbhanga: During the next three months, tarps and hygiene sets will be distributed. Manual pumps will be treated with Chlorine to provide clean drinking water. In addition, children, pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers will be provided with additional food.