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South AsiaIndia

Worst cyclone in West Bengal in 283 years - this is how we help the people affected in Pathar Pratima

Cyclone Amphan hit West Bengal, India, on 20 May 2020, devastating coastal areas with massive wind speeds of up to 190 kilometres per hour and heavy rainfall. Shortly afterwards, our team reached the heavily affected districts of Pathar Pratima and Mandir Bazar to provide local assistance to affected families.

Young women receive relief supplies consisting of female hygiene products, soaps, mouth and nose protection masks, disinfectants and cleaning supplies for the tube wells (pic: AWO Interntional)
Young women receive relief supplies consisting of female hygiene products, soaps, mouth and nose protection masks, disinfectants and cleaning supplies for the tube wells (pic: AWO Interntional)

South 24 Parganas and North 24 Parganas, two districts in West Bengal, were severely affected by the cyclone. Here about 85 percent of all cultivated land has been destroyed. In our Pathar Pratima project area in South 24 Parganas, the cyclone hit around 350,000 people, killing a six-year-old child. 98% of buildings in the region were damaged. River banks were torn down and entire areas flooded - the high salt content led to the destruction of the harvest. Drinking water has become polluted and scarce, electricity and telephone connections failed. In the middle of the Corona crisis, the affected inhabitants stay in temporary and very crowded emergency shelters. Following the guidelines for social distancing or regular hand washing are hardly or not at all possible.

Most families in the district of Pathar Pratima are already living below the poverty line. Many families are dependent on their daily wage. Households run by women are particularly affected, as they alone are responsible for the family's well-being. The curfew due to the Covid-19 pandemic led to considerable loss of income and food shortages.

This is how we help the people of Pathar Pratima

Only a short time later we were on site to assess the extent of the damage in Pathar Pratima. In cooperation with our local partner organisation Kolkata Sanved and in collaboration with the Sundarban Social Development Centre, SSDC for short, we provide Covid-19 related awareness-raising material and supply the affected people with emergency aid packages consisting of soaps, face masks, female hygiene products and liquid disinfectant. The rehabilitation of 13 destroyed pipe wells and the construction of two new wells should give at least 6,000 people access to clean drinking water. These pipe wells are also being checked for drinking water quality on a regular basis. The emergency aid team is also distributing a total of 500 kilograms of calcium carbonate to clean the water sources in the community and is training the residents in its use.

Projectinfo

Project Emergency Response to Cyclone AMPHAN and the COVID-19 Pandemic in West Bengal, India
Place/Region West Bengal, Mandir Bazar and Pathar Pratima, District South 24 Parganas
Partner Kolkata Sanved (KS) in cooperation with Sanved Sundarban Social Development Center (SSDC)
Target group 6,000 people in Pathar Pratima, 600 people in Mandir Bazar People affected by the flood; young girls, women and their families; people living below the poverty line; day labourers
Activities
  • Distribution of soaps, masks, female hygiene products, disinfectants, bleaching powder and calcium carbonate for cleaning pipe wells
  • Repair of destroyed pipe wells and the construction of new wells
Duration 2020
Budget 20.000 Euro
Sponsor Aktion Deutschland Hilft

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