Amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, savage floods have wreaked havoc in Assam, disrupting lives of nearly 33 lakh people in 28 districts.
Lakhs of people have lost their homes and livelihoods in its wake, with over 90 people losing their lives so far.
Since the onset of flooding, Red Cross teams (more than 1200 volunteers) have been on the ground, providing support to affected communities in the remotest areas of the state.
Till date, the 9,283+ tarpaulins distributed among needy families are helping close to 46,000 people gain immediate shelter.
Moreover, 2000 families are being supported in temporary shelters/relief camps set up by the IRCS Assam in highlands, at several locations.
All beneficiaries are being provided with dry ration, utensils, mosquito nets, soaps, masks & clean drinking water.
“Our volunteers are also making all possible efforts to ward off the rising threat of COVID-19 and prevent community transmission of the disease in relief camps by earmarking separate spaces for families,” said a statement issued by the Indian Red Cross Society (ICRS), Assam.
“This is helping us ensure that social distancing is maintained & the families feel safe just as they would be at home during their stay,” the statement added.
Information on related safety precautions is concurrently being disseminated among communities and all steps are being taken to ensure that they are being followed in the camps.
IRCS Assam has also installed 25 family tents in different COVID-19 quarantine centres as well as along highways, railway lines and embankments where displaced people are taking shelter.
One such camp has been set up at IRCS’ raised platform in Chorabori, Hajo, Kamrup district where 50 flood-affected families (250 people) are being sheltered along with their cattle.
Another raised platform is constructed at Bhuragaon, Morigaon district where 70 people of 15 families have been sheltered along with their livestock.
“Initially, the State Branch conducted a needs assessment and established 12 Zonal centres to pre-position 13,500 tarpaulins so that we are able to launch a timely Emergency Response,” the statement further said.
“We are grateful to IRCS National Headquarters in Delhi and our Movement Partners, ICRC and IFRC for extending support of this magnitude and helping us reach maximum beneficiaries this year,” the statement added.
“Thorough planning by our Secretary-General RK Jain, IAS (Retd.) helped us launch a timely emergency response on the frontline and save precious lives,” the statement added.
Till date, Indian Red Cross has reached over 40,000 people reeling under the impact of these devastating floods with relief aid such as over 1000 dry ration kits, 800 mosquito nets, over 2000 utensil kits & other essential commodities. over 2000 hygiene items such as soaps & 3400+ PPEs (masks, gloves) have also been distributed.
Besides, volunteers are encouraging everyone to practise social distancing norms.
IRCS has also installed hand pumps for affected families to ensure that communities have access to clean drinking water, as floods lead to contamination of drinking water sources.
Dedicated Red Cross staff, volunteers and members continue working tirelessly on the frontline to reach the last mile and ensure that no one is left behind.
Tarpaulins, dry ration, milk packets, mosquito nets & coils, drinking water, candles, clothes, etc. are being transported to the most affected areas to reach people right at their doorstep.