The annual northeast monsoon in November–December 2015 turned disastrous for the entire Coromandel Coast region. The city of Chennai was one of the worst affected regions, where more than 400 people were killed and over 18 lakh (1.8 million) people were displaced. These floods are among the costliest natural disasters of the year 2015.
WOWs interventions in the month of December
Kilpauk: Women of Worth has an ongoing rehabilitation project at the girls home in Kilpauk which houses roughly 300 girls. The ground floor dorm rooms had about four feet of water which sent all the girls and the staff to the first floor rooms that normally house approximately 50 girls. In addition, the main drinking water source was contaminated. And toilets were water logged leaving one restroom that was usable.
Various Parts Of The City: One of the most important needs immediately following the floods were blankets. Since many homes lost all their belongings, staying warm on the streets was a major concern.
Cuddalore: Several relief centres were created to house thousands of people in the coastal regions of Cuddalore. Warm clothes and protection from the spread of infectious diseases were the primary needs during the immediate relief efforts. Eventually, household items and hygiene kits were also distributed in this area.
Neelankarai: Women of Worth has been a proponent of the Remar rehab centre and safe house for women and children. This institution suffered property and infrastructure loss during the floods. Funds for rebuilding in order to continue housing the women and children was a priority.
Ramavaram: Situated on the banks of the Adyar River, Ramavaram was inundated with over eighteen feet of water. Families were stranded on the third floor rooftops of apartments in the neighbourhood. Families on the ground floor and first floor had homes filled with water and lost all their belongings. Some of the women did not eat for two days for the lack of access to toilets.
Washermanpet: A community that lived across from the intercity train tracks was not receiving aid as most of the aid was being distributed to the areas off the main road that was situated away from the tracks. By the time the women of this particular community made it across the tracks, there was not much left. Other medical concerns and human rights issues were identified during our investigations and WOW plans to continue working with this community even after the flood relief workshops are completed.
Kannagi Nagar: A community of families in Kannagi Nagar was still inundated with about 3 feet of flood water two weeks after the floods. This housing community is a government sponsored housing development that has had several problems that included riots and gang wars. We had received reports that trucks were being vandalized and aid was not reaching families. Our social workers, with the help of local families, identified and invited women from 150 families to attend a workshop and receive aid supplies at our office. This prevented vandalism and ensured that aid reached the families in need.
*Some of the materials were donated in kind for some locations.
Your choice to reach out to the people provided immediate support and care to the flood affected people from lower income group. The support was timely and just what they needed.
Story Of Fathima and Kavitha
We were unable to go to work or even have access to toilets” said Fathima and Kavitha. Unfortunately, this is the second natural disaster that has affected them, first being the Tsunami of 2004. With your help WOW was able to provide immediate needs bringing a smile to their faces.
Story Of Gayathri
Gayathri who lost all her household items expressed her heartfelt gratitude towards WOW and its supporters. “Usually people give away only cheap and low quality things, but the relief materials that WOW provided were of good quality and very practical and useful items as well. I use the water purifying tablets for cooking and drinking everyday. The mosquito repellent cream and mosquito nets are very useful. Children’s kits were so useful too” said Gayathri. Devi who is also a member of the same community requested WOW to continue working with them by providing various programs that will lead to Women and adolescent girls empowerment.
Story Of Manjeet
We had to wade through waist deep water almost one whole day with our 4 month old baby. Late in the evening we found a dry place. This was a scary and difficult experience. We kept all our important documents and certificates safely on the loft. Even those got wet. We felt helpless and confused.” The relief materials given by WOW helped us when we returned home, to start afresh with a dry and hygienic place. Thanks to the volunteers who helped us clean and get the house back in shape.