EHA and Disaster Response
July 9, 2012
Villagers in Assam are accustomed to the Brahamputra River overflowing its banks each yearduring monsoon season. But in the last two weeks, more than 2,000 villages in 27 districts havebeen inundated in the worst flood in a decade. At least 124 people have died in the flooding and 16 more in resulting landslides. Around 2 million people have been affected, with many having lost their homes and livestock.
Would you help EHA respond to this disaster? You can easily and safely make a donation online by clicking here. Read on to learn how EHA is responding in the name of Christ to this emergency.
EHA'S Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit assessment team visited three affected villages and several relief camps in Sootea. Initial relief materials including
Safe drinking water must be provided
food packets and soap have been distributed and air dropped by other organizations. Desiring to help, EHA plans to distribute tarpulins for shelter, nutritional packets for children and mothers, water purification tablets, large water tanks, and hold medical camps providing health and hygiene education, supplements, and vaccinations to 1,000 families. They will keep a close watch on any health epidemic issues as well, with special concern over water-borne illnesses or other monsoon-related fevers, coughs, or colds. This relief effort will be based from Baptist Christian Hospital in Tezpur, about 40 kilometers from Sootea, and will cost about $80,000. If you are able to donate to this relief effort, please click on the Donate page.
September 25, 2011
After four drought-stricken years, the heavy rains which began on September 18, 2011, brought with them a wave of destruction and devastation to the Sonbhadra region. As the floodwaters increased, homes were washed away, roads were damaged, people were stranded, crops were destroyed, and many lost their lives as conditions became increasingly dangerous. Those living in poverty and poor sanitary conditions were terribly affected as their mud homes collapsed and they were left homeless. Many had no other option than to spend the night in trees or on the roadside under dirty torn tarps, in a desperate attempt to stay dry and escape the rising waters. Others took refuge in government schools and Panchayat buildings, and were provided with much needed food and warmth.
Those at Jiwan Jyoti Christian Hospital were also terribly affected as the waters rose within the hospital compound. Many of the hospital staff quarters flooded and those living in town were forced to stay in more than one and a half feet of water to prevent the theft of their belongings. At the hospital, stores of medicines, clean bedding, food, and first aid items were damaged. Patients were unable to reach the hospital due to deteriorating roads. As the water stagnated, the incidence of mosquito and water-borne diseases such as malaria and typhoid increased, with many presenting too late for medical care. Many of these deaths were potentially preventable with treatment of anti-malarials and antibiotics.
Despite the damage to the hospital, the staff of Jiwan Jyoti is making plans to aid the many in need around them. They will organize medical camps in various regions to distribute medication and provide basic healthcare. Supplies they hope to distribute include mosquito nets, repellents, clean drinking water, water purification tablets, bleaching powder for wells, and plastic sheets and tarpaulins. Rebuilding of homes is also on their list of tasks. The cost to cover the hospital losses is 300,000 rupees, or $6,100. In total, the money needed to repair the hospital and provide the supplies and outreach to the surrounding people in need is 880,000 rupees, or $18,000. If you would like to contribute to these needs, please click the button below.
The staff asks for prayer that He will equip them with strength, energy, and wisdom to provide help for those around them, and that many may see the glory of God even amidst these desperate conditions.
September 18, 2011
On Sunday, September 18, 2011, a 6.9-magnitude earthquake hit Northern India, Nepal, and Tibet, taking more than 70 lives. The epicenter was in the Himalayan Mountains in a very remote area. Four organizations, including EHA, have banded together to help the villagers affected by this quake. They have distributed relief materials to several villages, and have plans to continue working to reach the more remote areas. They will deliver food for at least two months, as well as provide blankets, warm clothes, and cooking equipment for those whose homes were lost.
Setting up Mobile Health Camps is another aspect of the disaster relief, as is distributing water purifying and de-worming tablets. They will also provide counseling, as many are traumatized by the worst quake to hit the state of Sikkim, India, in six decades. More than a dozen aftershocks occurred within the first twenty-four hours after the earthquake. In the capital of Gangtok, buildings collapsed and pavement cracked. In other areas, roads buckled, buildings were upended, and rocks the size of trucks blocked the mountain highways. Torrents of rain fell for days, causing enormous mudslides. All of these conditions have made it extremely difficult for relief organizations to reach those who need help the most.
Please pray for EHA staff as they seek to provide food, shelter, medicine, clothing and blankets, and counseling to those devastated by this earthquake. If you would like to help provide for those in need, please give by clicking the Donate Today button.
In recent years EHA has been called upon to provide emergency health care assistance in the face of disasters across the region. Personnel quickly responded to the 2005 earthquake in Kashmir and the 2006 tsunami which devastated a vast area including India’s Andaman Islands. In 2009 a crisis developed closer to home with flooding in the state of Andhra Pradesh. The EHA reacted quickly with funding and staff to meet immediate needs.
Today a disaster unit stands ready to respond quickly to developing circumstances across India and in other areas across southeast Asia.
On the heels of these initial responses EHA has developed long term rehabilitation projects in Kashmir and the Andamans. These efforts seek to turn crisis situations into long term healthcare development opportunities.
Contact EHA-USA if you are in a position to respond to an emergency situation under the direction of EHA’s disaster response unit. Participants must be available on short notice and in a position to fund their own travel and living expenses.
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