The non-stop torrential rains in two consecutive spells in month of November and December brought the urban life of Chennai to standstill. Over 400,000 people in Chennai were affected by the worst flooding witnessed by the state in last 100 years.
SEEDS, reached out to 7000 families through distribution of essential items like shoes, mosquito repellents, mosquito coils etc. as part of the relief operations in the most affected slum areas of Chennai.
Assessments during the relief phase in these slums revealed that the houses were severely damaged due to inundation of water and rendered inhabitable. The urban squatters in an around Chennai, lost their homes (huts) due to flooding. Water inundation also led to dysfunctional toilets in these slums. This led to sanitation issues such as open defecation and waste management, exposing the communities to various health hazards. Similarly, the water in tanks filled by the government laid pipelines was getting contaminated. These tanks required treatment in order to make the water safe and prevent outbreak of any vector borne diseases.
In our endeavour for rebuilding Chennai, SEEDS has identified 200 families that are in immediate need of homes and the construction of 121 transitional shelters is underway. These families belong to the most marginalised section of the local communities residing in 14 clusters of Madhavaram slum. These transitional houses would last a year (until the Government can build a permanent home) and will be built quickly. The longer it takes, the longer will the families be forced to stay out in open and the intermitted rainfall making it even more difficult. And therefore we needed to act fast!
Intense community mobilisation relating to promotion of safe hygiene and sanitation practices are also being carried out on the ground by the WASH expert from SEEDS. Several activities to generate awareness on the concerned theme have been undertaken