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Projects: Flood Relief

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SPADE has completed several projects since its inception in 1994 to provide relief to those affected by the annual floods in the state of Assam. In the devastating flood of 1998, SPADE extended its services in the worst flood affected areas of Gohpur (Sonitpur district), Dhemaji (Dhemaji distirct) and Dhakuakhana (North Lakhimpur district), by supplying medicine, clothes, food and utensils in different relief camps. SPADE volunteers collected relief materials from different organizations and individuals of greater Guwahati. The volunteers traveled to several flood affected areas to distribute relief material, and they involved local people and other organizations in distribution efforts. Relief camps were organized in the village Bukia under Nalbari district. SPADE organized 3 medical camps and an equal number of relief material distribution camps in those areas during 2000-2002. During the flood of 2003, SPADE also undertook relief work in Samarjan in Dhemaji district, and also sent relief materials to the Rural Volunteer Centre in Dhemaji district, Science Trial Organization in Cachar district and Tamulpur Gramdani Sangha in Nalbari district for distribution among the flood affected people. Over the past few years SPADE has networked with various organizations working in the similar areas.
A medical camp at Nalbari

Distributing relief materials by boat
Through the involvement in these relief activities SPADE gained insight into the phenomena of flood. The volunteers of SPADE have observed the problems, the governmental snags and sheer helplessness of the people during and after the flood. SPADE realized that the government efforts alone are not sufficient to tackle the situation and that mere relief activities will not bring about sustainable development. People's economic security is one major issue that can help people withstand the aftermath of flood to some extent.
In view of the above, SPADE made a detailed household survey of ten villages in Dhakuakhana subdivision of North Lakhimpur district, about 500 km away from Guwahati, in order to identify their immediate needs and the available skills so as to take up some income generating activities in those areas which can be practiced during flood or/and compensate the loss of income caused by flood.
Approaching marooned flood victims

Village girl using a raised tube well provided by SPADE
In view of the inherent weaving skill of the women, introduction of weaving in commercial scale was taken up as the maiden activity. SPADE started two local chapters in Dhakuakhana and North-Lakhimpur. The yarn was supplied to them from the funds contributed by the friends and well-wishers of SPADE. Accordingly the members of SPADE marketed the finished products at Guwahati. The weavers earned the entire profit in the process. SPADE also facilitated participation of a number of weavers at training cum exposure programme at Guwahati and Shillong respectively. Gradually the weavers were exposed to the market demands and quality requirements to suit the market conditions.

SPADE's work with the 2004 floods is described in the Field Report page.

Web Page Author: Autri Dutta URL:http://www.spadeindia.org/flood_relief.html Last modified: August 31, 2004

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