“I hope to resume my work in the fields after the floodwater drains away, so that I can put food on the table.”
That was the wish of a flood-affected farmer in the southern Indian state of Kerala. In August 2018, a devastating flood struck Kerala causing over 480 deaths and an economic loss of US$2.8 billion. As the flood victims go through a difficult time of recovery from natural disaster, CEDAR reached out and provided relief aid to them through EFICOR*, our long-term partner in India. Until 27 November 2018, 13,060 families have been benefited from our support. They received relief materials included rice, cooking oil, bath soaps, clothes, and bed-sheets, enough for each household’s use for 1.5 months**.
CEDAR’s staff arrived Kerala and visited the affected families in October. One of them showed us the flooding damage: the wall of their house was destroyed, countless furniture, electrical appliances, and daily necessities were washed away. In spite of this, the family remained in the shabby house as their shelter. The father as the only breadwinner of the family longs to be back in the field in order to provide for his wife and two children. Currently, they are living on our relief aid.
The father said, “I am glad to have this aid at this critical period.” He did not own any farmland but he worked for the farm owner to earn a living. Unfortunately, the floods drowned innumerable farms and consequently stripped away his job. Yet, he did not give up as life got hard. He kept on inquiring about working opportunities through his relatives and friends. By the time we visited, he worked in a fishery as a temporary worker.
As he stood next to the large breach of the wall, he could not hide his emotional distress anymore. Like other villagers, his wife (right photo) had to collect rainwater in a bucket every day for domestic cooking and drinking. The residents of the village are hoping for an access to clean water before the drought season (normally between December and February) arrived because the well of the village was polluted.
The floods were ruthless, but our staff witnessed the unity of the local residents who had been striving to rebuild their communities. The self-giving service of the EFICOR’s team has inspired local university students to volunteer for the relief work, such as helping to distribute relief materials and assisting women to carry them home. CEDAR is grateful to join hands with EFICOR, which has embodied the love of Christ in disaster relief.
Please keep the flood-affected people of Kerala in your prayers:
• While emergency relief is completed, full recovery from the disaster is still a long way to go. Pray that the access to clean water, farming conditions in fields, and the local residents’ livelihoods can be restored.
• Countless farmlands and livestock animals have been destroyed or washed away by the floods, please pray that the government, various non-governmental organisations, and local churches could set up corresponding long-term projects to help the affected communities.
*The full name of EFICOR is The Evangelical Fellowship of India Commission on Relief
**On 27 September 2018, CEDAR Fund was funded by the Disaster Relief Fund, Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, of HK$3.613 million for providing relief to flood victims in Kerala.