Covid 2.0 and Yaas Super Cyclone Relief work in Sundarban

Covid 2.0 and Yaas Super Cyclone Relief work in Sundarban

From Nandalal Majhi

Cyclone Yaas: Relief Work in the Sundarbans ,UPDATES ON (BOTH) ONGOING COVID RESPONSE 2.0 AND SUPER CYCLONE YAAS RESPONSE.

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Update #1

5 months ago

We have made small arrangements for the food of the affected people at Yaas today 01/07/2021. This arrangement will continue till next Thursday. Arrangement of about 230-550 mills per day (noon and night mills)..
Thank you all for being by our side.

More Info

In Sundarban ,On the morning of 26th May, 2021 approximately 150 have been subjected to floods after embankments have been breached or due to excessively high and forceful waves. This morning, more areas have experienced floods or continue to do so as high tide sets in. Our efforts of standing by COVID patients and their families are also ongoing simultaneously. Furthermore, the lockdown in West Bengal has been extended till 15th June, invariably leading to more disruption in the lives of thousands of daily wage earners, hawkers, shopkeepers, etc. We hope to assess the exact number of such affected areas in the next two days. Our estimate is that the figure will increase after final reports come in. This leads to much more sustained damage whose effects will be felt long-term - ponds, estuaries, etc. have become contaminated, leading to a significant loss of livelihood for fisherfolk.Land presently used for farming and cultivation is likely to become infertile.

The situation at hand is not one that can be addressed with a permanent solution at the moment. However, if we consider the immediate requirements in these affected areas, tube wells in many places have been submerged or destroyed, leading to a huge crisis in potable water. The state government has undertaken to provide water in some areas, however this is mostly water for drinking purposes. Water is still required for people to undergo other essential daily activities. Furthermore, some villages have not yet received a sufficient amount of drinking water, causing an urgent need for the same. The water found everywhere is saline and has been contaminated by fish from ponds, fallen tree leaves, drain water, etc., rendering it unsuitable for bathing or cooking. 

The relief provisions being distributed by the government seem to be inadequate for the number of people affected. Dry food is urgently required, cooked meals can only be sent after being cooked elsewhere, as there is a fear of water-borne diseases such as diarrhea, dysentery, etc. arising from food cooked in these areas. There is already an existing apprehension that these diseases will spread in the given situation.

Many people have taken shelter on top of dams or flood shelters in areas that have been completely submerged. There is rampant overcrowding in these shelters, where approximately 100 people are staying in a single room. We must remember that during Amphan last year, Sundarbans had not yet come under the community transmission of COVID. However, the situation is grievously different this year, as many people can be identified as asymptomatic and symptomatic carriers of the virus. The positivity rates on COVID tests are quite high in these areas in general. In this situation, these areas are likely to become super-spreader areas, a likelihood we are taking steps to address.

It is absolutely essential to keep in mind that Bengal and the affected areas in particular have experienced Cyclone Fani, Cyclone Bulbul, COVID 1.0, the lockdown, unemployment, Amphan and all of its combined aftereffects. To the most marginalised sections of society here, their very existence in the Sundarbans is horrific. A combination of all of these factors may lead to major changes in social demography in the state, its most tragic consequences being a rise in child marriages and trafficking for girls and young women.

The visual impact of Cyclone Yaas may be less striking or devastating.

We at QSYN are trying to keep all these factors in mind as we begin our operations in these areas. We are trying to coordinate our efforts in affected villages while simultaneously trying to maintain the necessary safety protocols for COVID. Our teams are due to reach many of these areas in the next 24 hours with medical equipment for COVID as well as dry food and other essentials. A few expert teams are also trying to work out a means of providing clean and safe potable water as soon as possible

We are still trying to distribute sanitizer and conduct sanitation drives in community spaces. We hope to conduct more awareness campaigns and distribute more masks and awareness posters across Sundarban.

 we try to stand by the survivors of Yaas to the best of our ability, let us not forget that the second wave of COVID is still very much a reality in Sundarban and across the country. We plan on conducting more blood donations in addition to the four already completed. Our People's Kitchens are running.Our first People's Covid Care Centre is operational and we are in talks to set up many more community isolation centres with oxygen support in rural Area.

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Nandalal Majhi posted a new update:
5 months ago

Update #1

We have made small arrangements for the food of the affected people at Yaas today 01/07/2021. This arrangement will continue till next Thursday. Arrangement of about 230-550 mills per day (noon and night mills)..
Thank you all for being by our side.

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