India Partners sends help to trapped flood victims by boat

By July 31, 2013

India (MNN) — India is seeing another round of worse-than-normal flooding. This time it's in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.

There are reportedly 100 relief camps operating across the state. In addition, over 4,000 people were reportedly moved to a safer location last week because of flooding.

Donna Glass with India Partners says they're sending aid to 26 villages in the northern region of Andhra Pradesh, providing basic supplies for more than 1,400 families.

"With the flood waters, the villages are cut off, and so the only transportation–in or out–is by boat," says Glass. "We have not gotten a report before, of so many villages being completely cut-off."

Early flooding in India's northern Uttarakhand state killed thousands and erased the livelihood of tens of thousands. According to India's meteorological department, monsoon rains that led to this flooding were 440% over the annual average.

Some in India are saying the record "cloudburst" isn't completely to blame for severe flooding in Uttarakhand and now Andhra Pradesh.

In a report featured by The Guardian, writer Kavitha Rao says India's environmentalists claim "the region has been slowly eroded by rampant development." Devinder Sharma of the Forum for Biotechnology and Food Security told CNN a massive road-building project is only making it harder to cope with the region's annual monsoon rains.

While parties debate the cause, the government and some NGOs are dropping relief packages to flood victims in Andhra Pradesh from a helicopter.

"The government has indicated that they are going to be bringing in rice and cooking oil, but the people need more than that," Glass states. "They need the hope of Christ."

India Partners' cohort in northern Andhra Pradesh is bringing them that hope, along with daily staples like rice, cooking oil, dahl, vegetables, and soap.

Earlier this month, an India Partners team visited Andhra Pradesh to hold Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) training. Villagers are putting into practice what they learned, bringing help to flood victims.

"They wanted to bring in soap as part of their relief packages because they felt the importance of the hygiene portion of our training," says Glass.

"One of the big issues, when you have standing water, is the spread of waterborne diseases."

Glass says their partners are hoping the soap will lead to an opportunity to hold WASH training in affected areas, thereby reducing the spread of disease. Since WASH training is built on biblical principles, it also creates a platform to share Christ.

"It definitely has an opportunity to open up more for the Gospel to come in," Glass states.

Less than $20 can help a family; click here to get connected.

Pray for long-term opportunities to share Christ with flood victims. Pray that flood relief will arrive quickly.

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