A third wave of floods has hit India, one month after the flash floods that displaced millions. While the official death toll stands at over 600 across Assam and Bihar, numbers continue to increase with thousands still missing and hard-to-reach areas still inaccessible.
Already impoverished families have been left with nothing and those who have lost all of their food stocks are now facing chronic food shortages.
Arati Mondal fled her home with her family in the middle of the night with just a few utensils, some rice and some clothes. One month later, she is still homeless, destitute and neither she nor her husband are able to find work. The area they have moved to has become occupied by almost everyone from her previous village. It is overcrowded and there is a huge shortage of work.
“Floods have become an annual occurrence for us. Every year we have to start life from scratch. We have nothing, not even any savings for our children’s future. We’ve faced two waves of the flood now and we are scared of what is yet to come.”
For some, it is the emotional repercussions that are affecting them most.
Padma Das, a widow with three children, has also become displaced after her village, Sontola, disappeared beneath the water. In the past two months she has already moved homes twice because of the floods. She is currently living in a raised area, away from the water, but with no basic facilities. The place is grim and fearing for the safety of her daughters, she has sent them to live with a relative.
She said, “I have no husband and now my children are separated from me. Living alone and away from my children is devastatingly painful, but I had no choice”.
The third wave of devastating flood has so far claimed the lives of 72 persons across the state. At present, 343 villages are under water and more than 20,000 hectares of crop areas are inundated in Assam alone.
Islamic Relief has been on the ground since July providing vital aid to the victims. To find out how you can help, please click here