India's Worst Flood in 200 Years Sees Int'l Relief

India has recently suffered from the country’s worst flooding in 200 years, according to a mission group. Christian relief groups are responding in a wide range of ways from distributing groceries to assisting farmers with seeds and fertilizers.

Recent floods have devastated the people, livestock, and the landscape throughout India. In Orissa state, the special relief commissioner reported that over 15,000 villages and millions of people were affected, according to the partners of the Christian mission group Hope Builders International in a letter last week. Approximately 3,750,000 acres of agriculture land have been damaged and 100,000 houses have been destroyed. Even the hill districts of state, including Koraput district, has been badly affected. Orissa state has experienced five floods within the last month

Some 1,000 people have died and a significant number of cattle have also been lost due to the flood.

Hope Builders International will work in three phases. The first phase will prepare relief grocery package that includes rice, dried meat, lentils, salt, oil, matches and candles. The second phase of the aid plan will organize 50 medical camps for 50 villages. Finally, the third phase will help 1,000 farmers with seeds and fertilizers for winter cultivation to help them restore their living.

Catholic Relief Services (CRS) also reported relief efforts with partner agencies in the states of Rajasthan and Orissa and has pledged $260,000 to bring food, clean water, farming assistance and temporary shelter to about 11,950 families.

"The devastation people face is overwhelming," says Jennifer Poidatz, CRS India country representative in a report on Sep. 15. "Homes among the poorest and most marginalized groups are destroyed. Fields are overrun with silt that will destroy this year's harvests; contaminated water sources are leading to waterborne illness. People are in need of food and clean water, and families have endless questions about how and when they can return home."

CRS’s flood relief program will take place from the end of August to the end of November.

Lutheran World Relief through the global alliance Action by Church Together has also provided support for India flood victims.