Why Disaster Management and Relief?
Majuli experiences seasonal floods every year that disrupt the everyday lives of communities, impacting the health, livelihoods, and education of local communities. With the changing climatic conditions, there are expectations that there will be more floods and droughts in the upcoming years. Floods always prompt immediate and quick action by various entities. Experts in the field suggest that the flood situation will not decline, and thus community-centric resilience measures need to be instituted to support communities during floods. Our work with the community over the past 6 years has been the base of this project. Over the years we have provided relief to over 8,000 families across Majuli and nearby districts.
Our hope for this project:
- Building access to clean drinking water and sanitation for 1000 flood-affected households
- Building access to safe spaces for the flood-affected communities living in 10 hamlets
- Enabling communities for collective action during flood through competent disaster risk reduction committees in 10 hamlets
What we have done so far:
Ayang Trust collaborates with members of the local community in an integrated approach to rural development to address the several developmental challenges that result from geographical isolation and floods and provide sustainable development. We have formed DRR committees in 10 identified hamlets however, capacity-building workshops were conducted in 6 hamlets. The flood-resilient infrastructure was planned to be raised in these 6 hamlets for FY 2022-23. The name of the hamlets is Kulamua, Borunchuk, Lilabari, Notun-Mohorichuk, Mulaya Chapori, and Major Chapori.
To support communities towards flood resilience our program employs the following strategies;
Community Members as First Respondents:
The local communities are the ones most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, and hence our program focuses on making communities first respondents. We achieve this through the formation of Disaster Risk Reduction Committees (DRR) within a village. The DRR committees are trained in the following;
Search and Rescue Training: As advised by Disaster Management Authority we conducted extensive search and rescue training which could be crucial during floods. During the training, community members were taught to make use of everyday items that are available in the village which can be repurposed to support people in conducting Search and Rescue. For example, villagers were taught how to make a hospital stretcher with bamboo and a bed sheet. Apart from that, they were also trained in other skills like how to rescue people from drowning, how to carry people to ensure that there is no injury, etc. We provided the communities with essential support mechanisms to survive during floods which include a boat, life jacket and life buoy. Additionally, to enhance the emergency response, a megaphone was also provided to warn the community during emergencies so the emergency drill session could begin.
Veterinary Training: We collaborated with the District Department of Veterinary Services for training on the care and management of animals during floods. The sessions were focused on hens, goats, pigs, and cows which are the main animals found in every Missing household. The Department of veterinary services also shared valuable resource materials on the care, maintenance, and nutrition of these animals which will be shared in the DRR center. The community members also had the opportunity to ask questions and clear any doubts that were present about the care of animals.
WASH Training: We conducted an awareness session with the communities on individual hygiene practices and their links to individual and overall community welfare. During the session, we also demonstrated the proper process of doing a handwash as per the World Health Organization guidelines. Communities were also taught preventable measures to ensure that diseases do not spread to others in families. A part of the training was focused on the maintenance and upkeep of the infrastructure developed in this project. A set of agreements with DRR committee member participation were developed for the upkeep of the infrastructure.
Menstrual Health and Hygiene: We conducted training on menstrual health and hygiene management as a part of our Wash Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) module. The module has been developed in collaboration with the district health department.
Building Flood-Resilient Infrastructure:
Construction of Shelter Home: A shelter home has been constructed which combines traditional Missing architecture of the “Sangh Ghar” and modern architectural practices in 5 identified hamlets. The raised shelter house are flood resilient and has been constructed to take care of water level during floods. The shelter home is equipped with two bathrooms as well as a bathing space for the community. The houses have been developed on community land donated by the Village development committee for the project. The construction has been conducted with the active involvement of the community.
Construction of Elevated Hand pumps: During floods, community hand pumps get submerged. The water gets contaminated and can lead to infections and other issues within the community. In consultation with the communities, a hand pump has been built with 5 feet height, to ensure that communities get access to water.
Distribution of Water Filters: To ensure that communities have access to clean drinking water, we distributed steel water filters to 600+ flood impacted communities in Majuli.
Distribution of country boats: There were a total of seven boats distributed to the identified hamlets to enable mobility during floods. Boats during floods are very crucial for communities. Each of the boats given to the communities can accommodate around 20-25 people.