A joint field team from Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) and the Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS) has recently concluded their 12-day visit to the flood-affected areas of Kerala, aimed at assessing the damage caused by the calamity.
Team members, who conducted interviews with affected families to know about their circumstances and needs, also met with officials of the Kerala State branch, local district branches, and officials from government agencies.
The team comprised Aiham al-Sukhni, head of Disaster Management and team leader; Ghaith Tarabin, head of QRCS Mission in India and shelter sector focal point; Wahiba al-Saadi, health and psychological support focal point; Hamad Abdullah Abdulaziz, water and sanitation focal point; Shehrah Saleh, livelihood and social cohesion focal point; and Karim Abdullah, logistics focal point.
A meeting was held with the IRCS secretary-general RK Jain, IAS (Rtd) , who welcomed the team and thanked QRCS for their support.
Jain highlighted the great efforts made by the Indian government and IRCS for those affected by the floods in Kerala. He noted that the disaster relief phase was completed and the focus had shifted to the recovery and reconstruction phases.
The secretary-general discussed with the team the initial intervention plan and the way forward, giving general directions to the team accordingly.
Then, the team visited six districts to conduct needs assessment in the most affected districts, apart from the IRCS state branch in Thiruvananthapuram.
Several meetings and discussions with the IRCS field teams took place to identify priorities and areas of interventions.
A detailed initial plan was prepared and proposed to the IRCS’ central management to come up with the final approved intervention plan.
This field visit comes under the tripartite memorandum of understanding signed in September 2018 by IRCS, QRCS, and the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, to support the flood-affected communities in Kerala, with a total budget of $5mn.
Between June 1 and August 18 last year, Kerala experienced the worst floods since 1924. During this period, the state received cumulative rainfall that was 42% in excess of the normal average.