South Asia Floods: How Tearfund are Responding

41 million people have been affected by the devastating floods

DisastersFloodsBangladeshIndiaNepal

AT A GLANCE

  • 41 million people affected
  • 65,000 homes and 70 schools destroyed in Nepal
  • Nearly 3,000 villages underwater in Assam state, India
  • More than 600,000 people forced to flee their homes in Bangladesh
  • Tearfund’s local partners on the ground now

Figures correct as of 31 August

More than 1,000 people have been killed and millions left without shelter by extensive flooding across India, Nepal and Bangladesh.

Heavier than usual monsoon rains have left vast swathes of land underwater, as well as causing landslides across the region. More than 1,000 people are thought to have been killed, with the situation expected to worsen.

Flooding in the north east part of Bangladesh.

Responding to the crisis
As well as people losing their homes and businesses, large areas of farmland have been destroyed. The floods have struck at the beginning of the planting season, leading to fears of severe food shortages in the future. Flood waters also carry a high risk of spreading infectious disease.

Tearfund have been well established in all three countries for several decades, and we are currently working with our partners and alongside local governments to help the most vulnerable. Many people have lost everything in the floods, and our focus is currently on meeting the most immediate needs of shelter, food and safe water.

Our local partners have set up emergency health camps, and are distributing essential items such as tents, blankets and clothes. Medical support will be given to those who are suffering from waterborne diseases, such as skin diseases, diarrhoea, cholera and dysentery.

We are also providing cooking equipment, food supplies and hygiene kits to those most in need. In Bangladesh, work has already begun to support people in repairing their homes. Meanwhile, tools and materials for agricultural recovery have been distributed to hundreds of families.

Tearfund and our partners are on the ground now, and will stay for as long as it takes. Once people’s short-term needs have been provided for, we will be there to help people rebuild their lives and plan for the future.

Flooding in the north east of India.

‘They are doing everything they can’
However, the extent of the flooding has made many areas difficult to access. ‘I'm hearing stories of communities who are still unreachable unless by helicopter,’ says Douwe Dijkstra, Tearfund’s Country Director for Nepal. ‘Many mud houses have collapsed and people are living in schools and in open areas without clean water and toilets.’

‘This year’s flood has a much larger geographic spread than the last big one in 2008,’ adds Prince David, our Country Representative in India. ‘In Bihar, one of our partner’s hospitals was flooded. Yet they are doing everything they can, working closely with the local government to help people.’

With such a large area affected, and with many places almost impossible to reach, the full extent of the damage remains unknown. What is clear, however, is that the impact of these floods will last long into the future.

Tearfund and our partners are on the ground now, and will stay for as long as it takes. Once people’s short-term needs have been provided for, we will be there to help people rebuild their lives and plan for the future. What’s more, our resilience work will continue to train and equip communities to be prepared for disasters such as this.

Please help the people affected by these floods by supporting Tearfund’s Disaster Response work.

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PLEASE PRAY:

South Asia Region

  • Lift up those who have lost loved ones and their homes. Pray for God’s comfort and strength.
  • Pray for the emergency services as they struggle to reach those affected by the heavy rains
  • Please pray for God’s hand of guidance and safety upon the 41 million people whose lives have been impacted by the flooding
  • Pray for wisdom in Tearfund's response – that we would be able to reach and help those who are most in need
Gideon Heugh

Gideon is a copywriter in the Global Brand and Communications team. When he's not wrestling with the muse / his keyboard, you will often find him traipsing up a mountain or burying his head in a book.

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