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Updated 23 August, 2016 

The Situation

In July, monsoon season began badly affecting northern Bangladesh and the north-eastern state of Assam in India. The situation has deteriorated over the past few weeks. It is estimated that the floods have caused over 61 flood-related casualties and affected over 5.2 million people in these two countries.

In Bangladesh: In Assam state of India:
  • Affected population: 3.5 million (700,000 families) across 15 districts
  • Reported casualties: 42
  • Nearly 13,000 people in 69 flood shelters
  • Affected population: 1.7 million people across 22 districts out of 27 districts
  • Reported casualties: 19
  • Ten of thousands people are taking shelter in relief camps

 

Since the floods have damaged hand pumps and inundated the wells, the contamination of water sources and water-borne diseases such as diarrhoea are major areas of concern. People desperately need clean water and sanitation. The floods have also severely impacted the food security and livelihoods of those affected by them.

Oxfam’s Response

Oxfam aims to reach 4,200 families (around 17,136 persons) in Bangladesh and 3,250 families (approximately 16,250 persons) in Assam by providing support in water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and livelihood recovery.

In Bangladesh:

Oxfam is on the ground in Gaibandha district, Sirajgonj district and Kurigram district to assist those affected by the floods and ensure their dignity during this process:

  1. Direct cash grants (unconditional, one-off) of BDT 4,000 per family to meet their immediate and primary needs. These cash grants will also help revive local markets since the floods have compromised people’s purchasing power. We will ensure transparency and accountability through the participation of beneficiaries and local organisations throughout the project cycle.
  2. Hygiene kits that include items like a water storage jar, bathing and washing soaps, sanitary cloth, oral rehydration salt, and water purification tablets. The oral rehydration salts can assure that flood-affected persons have fluid substitutes when suffering from illness, such as diarrhoea, which is common in flood-affected areas. This can help replace electrolytes and replenish nutrients so that they can recover more quickly.
  3. A hygiene training will be given to all targeted households to improve the public health situation. It will benefit over 84,000 direct participants (targeted families and extended communities).

In Assam:

Oxfam aims to reach 3,250 households (16,250 persons) by:

  1. Delivering hygiene kits that have such items as a bucket and mug, water chlorination tablets, oral rehydration salts, bathing soaps, sanitary products for women and girls, traditional Indian underwear, and antiseptic lotion.
  2. Distributing emergency shelter and household kits. These include tarpaulin and groundsheets, blankets, bed sheets, a smokeless stove, kitchen set, solar lantern, water filter and mosquito nets. These items can protect exposed households from poor weather and mosquitoes, and ensure that their living areas can be kept dry.

In this disaster, Oxfam Hong Kong received HK$3.49 million from the HKSAR Government Disaster Relief Fund to purchase relief items in Assam state of India.

Oxfam pays special attention to the concerns of remote and poor communities, as well as the needs of vulnerable groups, such as women, elderly and people with disabilities. We adjust our humanitarian response based on the needs of the situation.