• Christian Aid’s £50k helps cyclone-hit Andhra

    Christian Aid has sent £50,000 to help its partners respond after cyclone Laila hit the coast of southern India’s Andhra Pradesh state on Thursday 20 May.

    The category one cyclone unleashed heavy rains and 65mph winds across 777 villages. Twenty seven people have been killed and more than one million have been affected.

    Thanks to government and military evacuation efforts and early warning announcements, thousands of lives were saved.

    An estimated 100,000 vulnerable people were able to take shelter in schools, government buildings and cyclone shelters – some of which had been built with Christian Aid support following previous disasters such as the 2004 Asia tsunami.

    “If such a disaster had hit Bihar where communities and government are less able to cope, this could have been a lot worse,” says Sajjad Mohammad Sajid, Christian Aid’s regional emergency manager.

    “Fortunately, the community and the government in Andhra Pradesh are able to better prepare for disasters, and this has helped to save lives.”

    Christian Aid partners report that those in temporary camps are still in need of food, sanitation and drinking water.

    Tens of thousands more people also need help as their homes and livelihoods have been hit hard.

    Banana, betel and mango crops are completely destroyed; vital trees have been uprooted; employment opportunities have been destroyed and 1,490 villages are without power and clean water.

    Christian Aid has sent an initial £50,000 to help partners meet the basic needs of those who have not been reached by government supplies, especially the most excluded such as dalits and those living in remote areas.

    CASA, a Christian Aid partner with extensive experience of emergency relief activities, has so far distributed food to 2100 people and plan to feed another 10,800 families in coming weeks.

    Eighty volunteers from partner organisation SNIRD are assisting the government rescue and response efforts in the camps.

    Source: Christian Today India
    Date: May 31, 2010

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