Emergency appeal for most vulnerable victims of Kerala floods

(Christian Aid)

Christian Aid has launched an emergency appeal to support victims of widespread flooding in India's Kerala state.

Extensive flooding across the region has left more than 350 people dead and another million without homes.

Christian Aid is working to provide practical assistance to 20,000 of the poorest and most vulnerable people by supplying safe drinking water, sanitation supplies, hygiene products and materials for shelter.

Ram Kishan, Christian Aid's Regional Emergency Manager, said: 'What I have seen and been hearing here is on a scale not seen for a hundred years.'

The floods were triggered by heavy monsoon rains over the summer. Although the rains have started to ease off in the last few days, thousands are unable to return to their homes and are seeking shelter in camps.

Christian Aid's Emergency Programme Officer Shivani Rana said the full extent of the damage is not yet known as many areas are still out of reach due to the high water levels.

She said it will be hard for people to rebuild their livelihoods once the flood waters have receded: 'Many people are currently sheltering in camps and one major worry is how they're going to recover their lives when they try to go home. For some families, everything they had has been washed away or ruined.'

Christian Aid will focus funds raised through the appeal on the Wayanad district, in the north of the state, and Idukki district in central Kerala. It aims to support 10,000 people across the two districts, particularly the Dalits and 'Tribals,' who are among the most marginalised people groups in India.

The UK government-backed Start Fund has already given a £77,000 grant to the Christian Aid appeal but the charity is seeking more donations to scale up its emergency response.

Kishan said: 'Christian Aid's appeal for support is needed to help us provide clean water, shelter and emergency food supplies and more important livelihood support for people who have been forced to flee their homes.'

People can donate to the Christian Aid Kerala Floods Appeal by visiting www.caid.org.uk/kerala

Source: Christian Today