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Displaced must wait for waters to recede for assistance

By July 19, 2007

India (MNN) — Monsoon flooding in Orissa, India affected millions of people including two
Gospel for Asia missionaries. 

The flash floods hit the area on July 7, forcing thousands to be evacuated to higher ground.  The floods washed away homes and livelihoods. The rains continued for several days after compounding the problem, requiring dams to be released because of overflow issues.    

GFA is forced to wait until it is safe enough to offer assistance in the area. With their
Compassion Service workers, GFA will be providing aid to those affected by the floods. With transportation in and out of the area shut down, it was nearly impossible to travel to or communicate with anyone in the area. In the Balasore district, many families had to resort to taking boats out of their submerged villages.

Bihuda Chauhan and Pardesi Nima and their families are GFA missionaries in Orissa who had to abandon their homes and churches because of the flooding. While they had food with
them, all their belongings were lost in the waters.

Because of the nature of weather in India, many people prepare dry food in advance for emergency evacuations if they live in low-lying areas. The monsoon season runs between June and September and provides most of the country's annual rainfall.

Authorities in Orissa have reportedly sent dry food packets to remote neighboring districts.  With flood waters, there is always the threat of stagnant waters causing illness. Many paddy crops have been destroyed as well, and many farmers do not have the funds to re-plant.  

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