Bihar Flood

In August 2008, more than 3 million people were left homeless by the worst flooding in 50 years in Bihar. Nearly 15 million people were directly afflicted by the flood. In 19 districts, 6000 villages were submerged by the Kosi River. The flood destroyed all the crops in its way. The people in the affected areas were left with nothing.

Bihar is one of the poorest states in India. The state’s administration was dealt a very severe blow by the severe flooding. The Kosi is known as the ‘Sorrow of Bihar’. The refugees were crowded into relief camps, staying in sheds made with bamboos and covered with whatever materials they can lay their hands on. The people did not have much but the flood took away whatever little they had.

In many areas, the people had to climb on their roofs to escape from the flood. They stay without food and water till the rescue teams got to them. Their livelihood was also hard hit as many cattle drowned in the flood. In response to the disaster in Bihar, HOPE worldwide sent a relief team of 6 members to one of the worst affected districts, Araria in September 2008.

The team visited Tuthi village which was badly damaged by the flood. The villagers had to stay on the roof for 4 days with nothing to drink but river water. The people in the villages were starving. They could not go the relief camps to get food as there were thieves who stole from their houses if they went. The relief teams distributed 200 kgs of rice, 250 kgs of churwa (dry pre-cooked flat rice), 20 kgs of dry soya chunks, 200 kgs of potatoes with 25 kg of sugar.

The team also helped various women who had delivered in the refugee camps. Most of these women could not even afford clothes for their newborn babies and wrapped them in bits of cloth. They also started some classes for the children who could not go back to school as their schools were destroyed by the floods. They also gave mosquito nets, nutritious biscuits, towels, and saris to the refugees.







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