Widespread flooding: Damage is Enormous in India

Widespread flooding: Damage is Enormous in India

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Flood in India during corona

Widespread flooding has been major issue for the last few months in India. The wrath of flood shows no sign to stop in several parts of the country. The scenes and images of the flood areas are heart-wrenching. People are wishing rain and rivers to show some kindness after months of catastrophe. But they have to look at only water everywhere they see.

People have to see their homes drowning. They are forced to live in tents or temporary shelter houses alongside roads. Or many are living even at roadside if they are not lucky enough. In many areas, there are no signs of roads, lanes or crossings. All of this happening during coronavirus outbreak, when safe water is the most required essential to keep ourself safe from the virus.


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Flood in India during corona

Amid such crisis, United Nations and European Union have extended helping hands to people of flood affected areas in India. The longest and continuous monsoon has taken around 800 lives, displacing over half a millions, said the UN. The global agency has announced humanitarian support to the most vulnerable people of flood affected regions.

UN stands ready to offer humanitarian support to the most vulnerable communities affected by flood in the country, UN spokesman Stéphane Dujarric read out a statement of Secretary-General António Guterres. The UN support will mainly focus on offering food, shelter, clean water, hygiene supplies and other supplies to needy ones.

Earlier, European Union also announced a humanitarian aid of 5,00,000 euros for flood affected areas of India. Aid funding will make for food and livelihood assistance, emergency relief supplies, and water and sanitation services to flood-affected people. EU raised concerns about nearly 11 million people affected by floods in the country, with increasing vulnerabilities in corona times.

How big is the damage?

Floods and landslides have wreaked havoc from north to south and east to west. A number of regions of Kerala, Karnataka, Bihar, Assam, Uttarakhand, Maharashtra, Goa and West Bengal have been major hit. The Meteorological department of India has also alerted Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, East Rajasthan, Gujarat and parts of Madhya Pradesh of heavy rains for a few days.

The damage by flooding is widespread this year. In the flood-prone districts of the affected states, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) are continuously offering relief work. But this is not enough when people’s plight has far more stretched due to insensitivity of office bearers they had voted for once. We were not prepared for the damage that is done.

Center and respective state governments seem to be insensitive or failed about flood affected areas and people. Many times, people reportedly had to save themselves on their own. Or many even died in a flood affected area of some state in the absence of any help or support from the concerned authorities. That’s why their hopes are now only with the nature, that will be calm definitely some time, some day.

A few questions arise here in the wake of monsoon taking lives and homes of people across the country, except the regions that are still facing drought in the same country. Is our weather department still not capable enough to provide more accurate forecasts before things go away from hands? MeT rightly said there would be good monsoon in the country this year. It also expected floods for a few regions.

Where we failed!

But why did not we know, monsoon would be this level of good, capable of leaving people homeless and dead? Was this a failure of respective governments and concerned authorities? All this is happening in the time of coronavirus pandemic. Already, there were chances of natural calamity coinciding with Covid pandemic. Were the governments and authorities not on high alert so that more advanced actions could have been taken?

Even when floods have taken almost everything of lakhs of people in the affected regions, respective governments and authorities don’t seem to be woken up. In many regions, people have to face the crisis situation on their own. Safety teams and agencies are unavailable or too late to provide instant help to even most vulnerable communities. Homeless and hopeless people are fighting alone with two crisis at one time.

In big cities, even a few minutes of rains are flooding the roads and streets. How much preparations Delhi and Mumbai had had for monsoons of 2020, is quite apparent. There is least coordination between various government agencies responsible for disaster management in every state. Though, this year may be worst flooding, it’s an annual affair for many states. It’s more about political will to prepare ourselves in advance to save people from the catastrophe. But government still seem to be in sleep mode.

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