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news | February 17, 2014 | India | Development

Floods in India: Getting ready together

Women participating in a rope knot activity.

A resilient Majuli is in the making by bringing everyone on board to reduce community vulnerability to chronic floods.

An island that faces recurrent devastating floods

Majuli Island in the North-East State of India faces extreme natural conditions with recurrent devastating floods due to seasonal heavy rains and land erosion. The erosion is caused by the Brahmaputra River that drains the entire region, forcing people to take shelter on roads and higher lands.

ACTED is helping local communities build resilience

To support these vulnerable populations, ACTED, with the support of the Humanitarian Aid Department of the European Commission is working to increase resilience of local communities through preparedness and prevention mechanisms.

It is critical to change attitudes from a relief mind set to self-preparedness in order to face natural disasters.

Raising awareness on how to respond to disaster

Through assessments, ACTED rose awareness amongst communities and disaster risk reduction actors on the vulnerability of the island, but also on the existing capacity and means there are to respond to these challenges.

Another activity, which also helps to bridge the gap between government and community, are ongoing trainings for trainers on Search & Rescue, First Aid, Water, Health and Sanitation, and Early Warning Systems.

Focusing on those most vulnerable: People with Disabilities

In January, ACTED held a workshop on disaster risk reduction at community level, with a special focus on involving People With Disabilities who actively participated in every activity.

One of the participants, when exchanging with ACTED staff explained that People With Disabilities are usually excluded from society. They hardly have a chance to participate in any decision-making bodies and are denied human rights at many levels.

“It was a great pleasure and challenge to be included in such type of training. People with disabilities are the most vulnerable section of the society during floods and other natural disasters”.

These were the words of the general secretary of the People With Disabilities organizational body for the entire Jorhat district. His support is invaluable as it will strengthen the participation of all communities in the project, and contribute to reduce the disastrous effects of floods on the most vulnerable people.

With the monsoon season approaching, it is more important than ever to be ready and prepared all together.

Click here for more on ACTED activities in India.